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    Jumaat, 22 April 2016

    Govt mulls turning Lawas waters into marine park

    Awang Tengah and Ismaili (standing 6th and 7th left respectively) and the villagers giving the thumbs-up to the rest shed at Kampung Punang cemetery.

    LAWAS: The state government is proposing to protect the rich marine diversity in Lawas waters by gazetting the area into either a marine park or national park where only regulated traditional fishing is allowed.

    Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan disclosed this when officiating at the ‘Friends of Maritime Programme’ of Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) at Kampung Punang here yesterday.
    “We need to protect and preserve the rich natural resources where dugong thrives and the endemic species and abundance of grass there,” he said.

    He said fishing trawlers would not be allowed into the area when it is gazetted as a marine park to protect the marine life.

    On a related matter, he revealed that Brunei and Malaysia had agreed in principle for a common traditional fishing ground to overcome unintentional encroachment into their respective waters to prevent possible arguments.

    “This was agreed in the government to government meeting but this might take a bit of time to implement,” he said.

    The minister, who is seeking re-election as Bukit Sari assemblyman, meanwhile urged the constituents in Kampung Punang to remain steadfast behind Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming state election as in previous elections.

    He called on them to set aside personal differences and be united in their stand to ensure victory for BN.

    On the grievances of traditional fishermen being harassed by MMEA enforcement units based in Labuan, he supported the call by Sarawak Region MMEA director First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit to resolve the matter by bringing it to the higher authorities.

    The complaints were about local fishermen being detained by Labuan MMEA enforcement officers.

    He said any offence committed in Lawas waters should be subject to the judicial process in Sarawak and not Labuan, and local fishermen who faced any problem could always raise it with MMEA.

    The ‘Friends of Maritime Programme’ included construction of a rest shed and store for Kampung Punang traditional cemetery as part of MMEA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

    Also present were Awang Tengah’s wife Datuk Dayang Morliah Awang Daud, Limbang Resident Datuk Maria Hasman, community leaders and the local community.

    Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/04/23/govt-mulls-turning-lawas-waters-into-marine-park/#ixzz46zBCictT
    April 23, 2016, Saturday Philip Kiew, reporters@theborneopost.com
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