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PM:Development and environmental protection needs to balance

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PM:Development and environmental protection needs to balance M'sia News

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will only succeed in becoming a developed nation if there is a balance between physical development and environmental sustainability in the country’s growth.
In his speech at the Earth Day celebration here today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reminded all quarters that environmental preservation is as important as efforts to develop the country’s economy and society.
“We can witness the aftermath when there is imbalance in development, which focuses solely on gaining profit.
“We must realise that our efforts to transform the country into a developed nation will not be achieved or recognised by merely building high-rise buildings – (while) our rivers are severely polluted, there are no trees left in our forests, and the air that we breathe is also polluted.
“Conserving the environment is not only an individual responsibility, but a collective effort that must be carried out continuously regardless of any circumstances,” said Dr Mahathir at Taman Tugu here.
In attendance were Tunku Besar Seri Menanti Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz; Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin; and Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
Also present were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali; Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad; and Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh.
Dr Mahathir’s wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, was also in attendance.
“Today, we are celebrating Earth Day at Taman Tugu, which is a 26.7 hectare green-lung located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
“The establishment of Taman Tugu is proof of our commitment to embracing a balanced development between physical development and environmental sustainability,” he said.
The Taman Tugu Project is a not-profit corporate social responsibility initiative led by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, with the support of various public agencies and private sector organisations.
Apart from turning the site into an urban forest park, the project also aims to encourage Malaysians to protect the natural heritage at Taman Tugu.
Dr Mahathir said Taman Tugu was chosen as the venue for Earth Day celebrations for symbolic reasons.
“I was informed that there are 4,000 trees (of various indigenous) rainforest species that have been planted at the nursery.
“This is in addition to 1,000 trees that are available at the site.
“I was also informed that Taman Tugu has attracted more than 30,000 visitors, including foreign tourists, since it was open to the public in August last year,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that he hopes visitors to Taman Tugu will share with their relatives and friends the importance of environmental conservation and protecting the nation’s green lungs.

(Source : News straits times

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