Malaysia: Environmental pollution a big problem for Terengganu's islands

ADRIAN DAVID New Straits Times 3 May 16;

PULAU REDANG: Environmental pollution poses a big hazard to the idyllic islands of Terengganu, threatening the lucrative tourism industry.

Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said the authorities would not hesitate to act against errant resort operators or tourists who dispose of garbage or sewage into the pristine waters of the South China Sea.

“There are also reports of open burning being conducted by irresponsible people who do not realise the impact on the environment, especially on the smaller islands.

“The current hot and dry spell can trigger bush or forest fires, too.

“We need to constantly educate them to be responsible and have a caring attitude, especially with Visit Terengganu 2017 approaching,” he said after a tour of the islands.

Among the islands most affected are Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil.

Razif also expressed concern over oil spills around Pulau Redang, where he had directed the Kuala Terengganu City Council to act.

He reminded chalet and resort operators to refrain from discharging sewage into the sea as it would pollute the beaches and threaten marine life, especially corals.

“Not to mention the stench that will drive away tourists.

Hygiene can also be affected,” he said, urging the authorities to constantly carry out spot checks.

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