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The azure sky and crystal clear water of Tioman Island welcomed 60 participants to the Malakoff Coral Rehabilitation and Education Project, which benefited Tioman Island and its surrounding area.
In its efforts to conserve the marine eco-system, Malakoff Corporation Berhad (Malakoff) kick-started the project here recently, channelling RM100,000 for the development of coral nurseries here at Monkey Bay. The enthusiastic participants, consisted of Malakoff employees and business associates joined hands to rollout this programme over a period of three days.
Jointly organised by Malakoff and its wholly owned subsidiary, Wirazone Sdn Bhd for the second consecutive time, the Coral Rehabilitation and Education Project is a key component of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform – the Malakoff Community Partnerships. The project saw the participation of the State’s Department of Marine Park Malaysia, along with Reef Check Malaysia, coral reef ecologists, Malakoff’s business associates including 7 companies (Al Rajhi Bank, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad, Allianz General Insurance Company (M) Berhad, Asian Finance Bank Berhad, UAT Air Conditioning Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Building Society Berhad, Dinastia Jati Sdn Bhd, Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation (M) Berhad) as well as the local community.
Speaking about the event, Zainal Abidin Jalil, the Chief Executive Officer of Malakoff said, “In recognition of the important role that companies can play in environmental conservation, the Coral Rehabilitation and Education Project was initiated by Malakoff last year. Through this project, Malakoff believes that we will be able to play our part to take a step forward in restoring the balance of our ecosystem.”
“I am pleased to say that today’s initiative is made possible by the involvement of Malakoff’s associates who share mutual respect for the environment, and are committed to educating the local communities on the importance of protecting it,” added Zainal.
During the initiative, participants were split into groups of divers and non-divers. The non-divers worked onshore to construct the coral nurseries, while the divers worked underwater to collect coral fragments, known as ‘nubbins’, and housed them at the nurseries. The ‘nubbins’ at the coral nurseries are kept and nurtured for six months. During this period, the nurseries will be serviced twice a week to ensure healthy coral growth with monthly tracking to monitor the progress closely. At the end of the six months period, the corals will be replanted at selected reefs around the island to help revive the existing coral habitat.
To further drive the message of safeguarding marine life to the people around the area, Malakoff also rolled out an educational programme to promote the coral nurseries to the local community as well as to the divers and snorkelling operators. In addition, Malakoff also encouraged the participation of local students for the nursery upkeep to instil respect as well as to spread awareness on the importance of coral reef to the eco-system.
Expressing his heartfelt gratitude for the contribution from the various stakeholders, Zainal said, “Malakoff is immensely grateful for the helping hand provided by our business associates and the marine life experts to make our efforts in coral rehabilitation a success.”
“The enthusiastic support we received from our business associates, local authorities, local communities as well as our employees to make this project a success serves as a true motivation for Malakoff to continue implementing such initiatives to help conserve our eco-system,” added Zainal.
In addition to contributing towards environmental conservation, the coral rehabilitation initiative also helped forge new friendship among the participants and the local community as they worked hand-in-hand, demonstrating their commitment and support towards the cause.
An avid environmentalist himself, Mr Nor Xyman Bakri of Azmi Dive Centre Sdn Bhd, was impressed with the marine conservation programme, which he admitted was very well thought out. He said, “Today, we surely made an impact in contributing to preserve the local marine life. Malakoff has done a commendable job in coming up with this initiative and implementing it so well. I am glad to be part of this initiative.”
“Working together with various organisations proves that we are not alone in our concern for the ecosystem. It also makes working on these initiatives much more fun and exciting,” he added.
In recognition for Malakoff’s unwavering commitment towards the environment, Malakoff was recently awarded the Habitat Preservation 2012 Award by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
For more details on these and other initiatives under the Malakoff Community Partnerships, please visit http://www.malakoff.com.my/.