Rare plants named after Zahid and Wan Junaidi

KUALA LUMPUR: In recognition of their efforts to help preserve the nation’s biodiversity, two rare plants have been named after the Deputy Prime Minister and the Natural Resources and Environment Minister.

A limestone hill plant from Kelantan is now known as Gymno­sta­chyum ahmadzahidianum while another similar species found in Perlis is called Impatiens feonajunaidiana.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said the move was made to honour Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The ministry’s director-general, Datuk Seri Azizan Ahmad, said experts were preparing the scientific description of the flowering plants for publication in international scientific journals.

He said this during the launch of Villa Fragrans at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, accompanied by Dr Wan Junaidi, also launched the Villa Fragrans and Villa Junaidiana operations centre by FRIM Inc and witnessed FRIM being awarded for 33 record-breaking feats in the Malaysia Book of Records to mark its 33rd anniversary.

Among them were scientists Dr Lee Chai Ting and Dr Hamdan Husain for their research work on forest management and construction of a building using acacia mangium wood.

The name of another precious plant, to be named after the Prime Minister, will be announced during his official visit to Lanchang.

In his speech, Dr Ahmad Zahid called on FRIM Inc to commercialise their research findings.

“Don’t let them remain just on paper,” he said. The Deputy Prime Minister cited the organic herbal industry as an area which FRIM Inc could become a global player.

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