Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming affirmed this notion on Saturday when participating students from Maktab Nasional raised their concerns over the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project in the "YB Minister! We have something to tell you" competition.
They raised their concern over the said project, which came under public scrutiny over the reclamation of land which may deter visitors from enjoying the beach in the future.
The competition was among the four competitions held by Institut Sinaran's Inter-School Environment Day 2014, themed "Raise Your Voice, Not The Sea Level", here, Saturday.
"I will not talk further on the matter (Tg Aru Eco Development) but development is a necessity of life, we have to change, you need development in your life. But the question is what kind of development?
We want sustainable development that is environment friendly.
That is the key issue," said Pang in responding to the issue in his speech.
"As a responsible citizen, we must make sure whatever development we bring to our State is sustainable, environment friendly and most of all bring benefit to our people," he said.
Pang also commended the students' concern over the environment issues around them as raised by them in the competition.
"Please voice it up, not in a negative way, that you do not reject development but you want your leader to be responsible to bring development that is sustainable, environment friendly and that would bring social benefit to the people. Otherwise, you will be living in the dark ages," said Pang.
The future is in good hands as the younger generations are now sensitive towards their surrounding, he said.
"I am glad that you all know what is happening in Sabah and I am very optimistic now about the future and have faith that Sabah will be in good hands of the future generation who know to care about environment."
Earlier, several participating teams in the competition raised their concern on environment issues around them.
Maktab Nasional emerged as the winner of the competition while the first and second places went to SM All Saints and SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sinaran CEO William Pan said the institute organised the event yearly since 2005 to cultivate awareness and conviction in the minds and hearts of participating students and the visiting public about the importance to care for the Mother Earth.
Over 600 students from 14 secondary schools from Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Tuaran participated in the events, namely Environment Quiz, Eco-Exhibition Challenge, Recycled Sculpture Contest and "YB Minister! We have something to tell you".
Also present was Chairman of the Board of Governors of Institut Sinaran Datuk Yong Kyok Ming.