Perak Sultan lauds Pulau Sembilan closure

By Sylvia Looi

IPOH, April 5 — The Perak government received a pat on the back from Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah yesterday for halting public access to Pulau Sembilan, one of the few places in the world where the “blue tears” phenomenon occurs.

He applauded the state government for making the right decision to close down the island temporarily last month until concrete steps were introduced to protect ecotourism and biodiversity of the area.

“Tourism products, especially those related to nature, must be protected from damage due to overwhelming commercial activities,” Sultan Nazrin said when opening the fifth session of the 13th Perak state assembly yesterday.

“The Pulau Sembilan state park is a state treasure that is unique and special. Its beauty is now threatened as the operators did not respect the rules and control put in place by the authorities.”

The “blue tears” phenomenon, caused by bioluminescent plankton, had attracted many tourists to the island who unfortunately polluted and damaged the natural environment.

Sultan Nazrin also said Masjid Ubudiah, which had been listed as the top five most beautiful mosques in the world, must be protected in its original form.

“Its size and design must be maintained and not enlarged which could destroy its original beauty,” he said.

Earlier, Sultan Nazrin said although Perak was blessed with 2,400mm of rainwater annually, its spatial spread was uneven.

“Water sources must be managed efficiently to address supply problems that are being affected by climate change,” he said.

“Hence, projects related to water security and drought risk management must be given attention, especially at water catchment areas.”