Malaysia: Population of coral reefs and fishes in marine park increases

The Star 17 May 17;

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The population of coral reefs and fishes in the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park has increased by 30% following the state’s efforts to place artificial reefs in the sea.

Johor Health, Environment, Information and Education Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the artificial reefs were placed in the sea near the park’s waters as a long-term effort to counter the depleting fish supply there.

The artificial reefs were also an alternative to replace natural coral reefs as a breeding habitat for marine life, he said at the state assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar.

“Our efforts brought an increase in marine life as observed in April,” he said in reply to Abd Razak Minhat (BN-Serom) who wanted to know what the state has done to make the marine park a biodiversity icon in Johor.

Ayub said the state, through natural heritage preservation efforts under its Johor Sustainability Policy, gave priority to looking after the marine park as it is also a tourist attraction.

He said other efforts to care for marine life in Johor included gazetting a dugong sanctuary in the Sibu Islands, and which wasundergoing gazetting and zoning process.

On another matter, Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohamad said about 150 high-performing bumiputra contractors have been shortlisted to take part in the Gemas-Johor Baru Electrified Double Tracking Project.

He said the list was made by the Johor Centre for Contractor Development (JCCD) after reviewing the eligibility of the contractors according to the Transport Ministry’s criteria.

He said JCCD’s contractor development programme enables Johor contractors to be in the running for this project, which helps to ensure that the bumiputra status quo of the development is met.

“The terms of the double-tracking project states that 50% of the contract value must be subcontracted to local contractors and from the percentage, 30% has to be bumiputra contractors,” he said.

He added that the Federal government awarded the project to China company CRCC CREC CCC Consortium Sdn Bhd (Consortium 3C) in November 2016.

Hasni said Johor had informed the Transport Ministry about the need to form a committee, led by the ministry, to oversee the subcontract acquisition and work conducted.

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