KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry allocated RM387 million to carry out 69 flood-mitigation projects nationwide in 2019.
According to the 19-page report card on the ministry’s initiatives and achievements yesterday, the flood-mitigation project benefited 85,000 people nationwide.
The ministry headed by Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar has also implemented integrated billing of water and sewerage services in one bill and Terengganu is the first state to implement the system involving 20,000 user accounts, according to the report card.
A new water tariff mechanism has also been introduced aimed at ensuring a transparent and fair water tariff and structure.
The ministry also provided treated water to the Orang Asli of Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, Kelantan who had previously relied on water from rivers and tributaries which was of poor quality and from uncertain sources.
According to the report, 2019 also witnessed Malaysia and South Korea inking a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of water and sewerage management signed between Xavier and South Korea’s Environment Minister Cho Myung-Rae at the end of November.
Under the land and natural resources sector, the ministry took the initiative to plant more than 6.8 million mangrove and coastal tree species on 2,815ha nationwide to strengthen the natural fortress to break down and minimise the impact of wind and sea waves.
Malaysia also managed to retain more than 50% of its land area as forest cover as expressed in its commitment at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
The current national forest cover exceeds 55.3% of Malaysia’s total land area.
Last year, the ministry also tackled poaching in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and police via Ops Bersepadu Khazanah.
As a result of efforts to combat poachers, 62 people were arrested through 20 operations.
The “Save our Malayan tiger” campaign was also launched to prevent the extinction of the majestic animals.