PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia must manage its mineral resources responsibly and avoid damaging the environment, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).
The Prime Minister said although minerals bring plenty of benefits to the country's socio-economy, it should not be a free pass for uncontrolled activities in the industry.
"Today, mineral resources play an important role in our lives.
"Nearly everything around us needs mineral resources in its production.
"Roads, buildings, cars and smartphones, all need mineral resources such as limestone, bauxite, silica sand, iron ore and rare earth elements.
"Malaysia as a country rich in mineral products must be wise in positioning itself, and to take the opportunity to explore and develop the resources we have.
"But while we agree on the importance and benefits of minerals, it does not mean that the government can allow activities in this industry to be carried out without control.
"The challenge is to manage this industry without causing damage to the environment and disruption to lives.
"As a caring and responsible government, we must pay attention towards creating an industrial ecosystem that can benefit all," said Muhyiddin, at the launch of the National Mineral Industry Transformation Plan 2021-2030 framework here Thursday (April 22).
Muhyiddin said with the launch of the plan, the government is targeting for the mineral industry to contribute RM29bil to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.
“This transformation plan will be a new national agenda that acts as the main reference for all stakeholders to ensure holistic development of this industry.
“Recognising its strategic value to the growth and competitiveness of the national economy, it needs to be developed responsibly and sustainably.
“The government is committed to ensuring that this plan succeeds in lifting the industry back as a major contributor to the economy,
“I am also confident that we can increase the competitiveness of our mineral industry to be on par with those in developed mining countries such as the United States, France, Japan, China, Australia and Canada.
“To achieve this, close cooperation between the government, industry, academia, organisations and the general public is required, ” said Muhyiddin.
Also present at the launch were Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Senior Minister (Economy) Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.