Rely less on minerals and forests, Regent urges Pahang

Bauxite Mining. (Bernama pic)

KUANTAN: The Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah, has called for Pahang to reduce its dependence on mineral and natural resources for state revenue, and develop a system of environmental conservation.

He also called for the agriculture and livestock sectors to be strengthened to make Pahang a food producer state, Bernama reported.

The Regent’s remarks, made during the opening of the state assembly, come in the wake of an environmental crisis caused by heavy bauxite mining in the state, and concerns over the environmental impact of the Lynas rare-earth processing plant.

He urged both the federal and state governments to help ease the burden of smallholders in the state following the collapse of palm oil prices on the international market.

“Forests should not be merely for logging and exploration, but can be a source of income through the practice of a holistic environmental conservation system,” he said, according to Bernama.

“This will further strengthen the tourism sector and will also be able to generate revenue for the state government through the means of imposing some types of fees including the admission fee into the forest reserve and recreational parks in the state,” he said.

He urged all parties to carry out a transparent impact assessment on environmental management for areas identified for development.

The Regent also called for rapid development of a fast and sophisticated information network in line with aspirations to become part of the fourth industrial revolution.

He congratulated the state government on the establishment of the Pahang Go one-stop centre for digital and online service applications such as online parking system, e-payment application involving government levy, compound and utility charges and online complaint system.

On ‘Liberal Islam’ and  insults against royalty

On other matters, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim said insults against royalty should not be viewed lightly. He said he was deeply affected by the recent actions of certain parties who had insulted the royal institution.

“Stern action should be taken, in accordance with the law to ensure the dignity of the royal institution continues to be respected by all parties,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the attitude of unscrupulous parties who seemed to challenge the sanctity of Islam in this country.

He hoped that the different political affiliations would not hamper efforts in preserving the sanctity of Islam as it was important to ensure that Islam was not mocked and its sensitivities were not ignored.

Tengku Hassanal voiced concerns about negative elements such as liberal Islam and the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) practices spreading among Muslims.

“As the head of religion in the state, I call on all parties including parents to put an end to this matter,” he said.