IN THE DEWAN RAKYAT
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The establishment of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is part of Petronas’ social responsibility to provide recreation to meet needs of a certain segment of society.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, S.K. Devamany, said the MPO was also in line with Petronas’ holistic development approach which combined business with science, technology and the arts.
“As a multi-racial country which has also an expatriate population the MPO will allow the people an opportunity to enjoy the symphony orchestra of international standard with their families or friends,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was replying to a question from Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) on whether the government planned do away or reduce the expenditure of the MPO.
He said MPO has also organised various programmes to train local musicians play orchestra music and unearth and encourage composers under the MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers.
250ha idle land to be developed
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry will develop 250 hectares of idle land starting next month, with an initial RM5 million allocation, for various short-term crops like vegetables and fruits.
Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said the project would be carried out under the national food supply guarantee policy and would be implemented in collaboration with agencies like the Agriculture Department, Veterinary Department, Farmers’ Organisation Authority and Federal Agriculture and Marketing Authority (Fama).
“The ministry has requested RM13 million to implement the project this year. We’ve so far received RM5 million,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
He said under the policy, the ministry had outlined a special idle land development programme, to be implemented between 2008 and 2010 at a cost of RM48 million.
A total of 650 hectares in 32 locations nationwide had been identified for the programme, he said. — Bernama