KUALA TERENGGANU: Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu today called on the state government to adopt a comprehensive approach to plan effective financial management to address current economic challenges, including strengthening cooperation with the federal government.

In fact, His Royal Highness said that the state government needs to formulate comprehensive short-, medium-, and long-term strategies together with federal departments and agencies in this state.

“This cooperation encompasses the planning of high-impact projects under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), which will end in 2025.

“Subsequently, the planning should be continued under the 13th Malaysia Plan (13MP) which will commence in 2026. Careful planning and focus on this matter will undoubtedly have a direct impact on the welfare of our people,” he said in the royal address at the opening of the Second Term of the State Legislative Assembly here today.

Yang Dipertuan Muda Terengganu, Tengku Muhammad Ismail Sultan Mizan and Tengku Muhammad Muaz Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin were in attendance.

Meanwhile, Sultan Mizan expressed gratitude for the successful management and sustainable conservation of fisheries resources through the Agricultural Strategy Plan 2019 to 2023, which recorded a 39 per cent increase in marine fish landings.

Therefore, the Sultan said that all programmes, including those focusing on the development of artificial reef lines along the borders and coastal areas of Terengganu waters, should be strengthened through cooperation with the federal government.

In his royal address, Sultan Mizan also expressed concern about the influx of livestock from foreign countries, either through smuggling or lack of certification of disease-free status by the producing state or country, which could have adverse effects on the livestock industry.

“The high demand for unchecked livestock has a direct impact on food safety for the people. Continuous enforcement, whether in waters or land borders, needs to be intensified to ensure that issues of marine resource encroachment and livestock smuggling are controlled so as not to become rampant,” he said.

On another development, Sultan Mizan said that non-radioactive rare earth elements (NR-REE) are a new industry sector in modern technology today, with the Malaysian Department of Minerals and Geoscience finding Malaysia to have approximately 15.2 million tonnes of NR-REE, with Terengganu having the highest deposits of around 7.2 million tonnes.

His Royal Highness said that with these new mineral resources, the state government must determine the best methods for NR-REE mining, ensuring that the value chain, including mid-stream and downstream industries, is established in Terengganu, thus becoming the country’s primary producer and processing hub.

Meanwhile, Sultan Mizan congratulated the national cycling champion, Datuk Azizulhasni Awang, and the female road cyclist, Nur Aisyah Mohamad Zubir, both from Terengganu, for qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The Sultan also prayed for Terengganu to reclaim the overall championship title at the upcoming Malaysian Games slated in August in Sarawak.