KUALA LUMPUR: An allocation of RM36mil under Budget 2023 is for programmes to protect tigers, elephants and other wildlife and their habitat, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengklu Abdul Aziz.
Apart from that, he said the number of rangers to preserve the biodiversity of forests will be increased from 800 to 1,000.
They would be recruited from the local communities such as Orang Asli and veterans, he added when tabling the Budget in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday (Oct 7).
To support the efforts of state governments to manage and protect the nation's flora and fauna, the allocation under Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation (EFT) is raised to RM100mil annually, an increase of RM30mil.
The government will continue to step up the restoration of forests through replanting, including at the Sandakan Forest Reserve in Sabah.
"For the cleaning and treatment of rivers, RM216mil is provided for the rehabilitation of estuaries of Sungai Merang, Terengganu and Sungai Perak,” he said.
Meanwhile, for sustainable community development, Tengku Zafrul announced that RM100mil will be provided to the Hasanah Foundation to lead efforts at the community level such as generating income, ensuring that no one is left behind in education and strengthening the health check-up programme.
He said there will be an allocation of RM20mil to the United Nations Development Programme and the Malaysian Parliamentary Cross-Party Group to increase activities related to Sustainable Development Goals in a collaborative effort involving the government, local communities and industry.
In order to empower Bahasa Malaysia, RM5mil is provided to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to collaborate with relevant agencies to implement the Language and Culture Diplomacy Programme towards the internationalisation of the country's national language, he added. – Bernama