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Terengganu’s Underwater Mini Landmarks Project Receives Backlash For Posing Threat To Marine Life


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Source: TRDI & UMT - Universiti Malaysia Terengganu | Facebook

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Recently, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia launched what is the First ASEAN Underwater Mini Landmark (AUMiL), in collaboration with the Department of National Heritage and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.

Basically, they erected miniature versions of iconic ASEAN buildings… under the sea.

Underwater 3

“This significant cultural project was approved during the 20th ASEAN-COCI Sub-Committee on Culture meeting and the 8th ASEAN Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Network Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia in June 2019, with a total allocation of USD 70,000 (RM292,467) under the ASEAN Cultural Fund,” shared the ministry.

The ASEAN mini landmarks were placed on a seabed at a depth of 10-15 meters in Bidong Island, consisting of:

  • the Petronas Twin Towers (Malaysia)
  • the Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque (Brunei)
  • the Cambodia Independence Monument
  • the Patuxai Monument (Laos)
  • the Indonesia National Monument
  • the Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar)
  • the José Rizal Monument (Philippines)
  • the Merlion (Singapore)
  • the Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan (Thailand)
  • the Tran Quoc Pagoda (Vietnam)

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But, not only is it the project unnecessary, but also harmful!

Malaysia has always been internationally-known to have gorgeous diving sites, with locals and foreigner tourists alike visiting to dive in observation, exploration and admiration of our ocean’s reefs and natural treasures. Malaysia is even part of the coral triangle!

But, these monuments may very well cause the destruction of our marine diversity.

Underwater 4

The Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) shared with WORLD OF BUZZ that not only are these underwater monuments unnecessary, but also harmful to the environment.

“We have seen structures like this fail during the monsoon and if these were put close to reefs, there will be damage. It is mostly a blemish to the unique natural reefs that we have in our marine parks, we do not need to resort to gimmicks and use a theme park approach!”

“It is also unclear if these structures are made from eco-friendly materials and designed to be fish-aggregating or coral-friendly, if not, we can see more damage,” they said.

Underwater 1

ECOMY believes that this project is an ill-advised move on the ministry’s end.

“It is therefore disappointing to see our ministry being badly-advised and endorsing the use of funds for sensational misadventure instead of using funds to promote, maintain and develop exciting marine and ecotourism products,”

“Divers will not come to see artificial replicas in our marine environment! This is an ill-advised project and the minister should get better advisors,” they added in a Facebook posting.

When will we ever learn that nature should only be observed and appreciated and left out of humans’ touch.

We genuinely hope that the authorities see towards mending this mistake before any damage is done to our gorgeous marine life.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.


Also read: Malayan Tigers May Go Extinct in Malaysia in the Next 5 to 10 Years!

My Post 2021 11 11T142025.109

Source: TRDI
Source: Sinar Harian

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