Terengganu should prepare for post-pandemic, focus on agri-biz and tourism

THE economic revitalisation of Malaysia’s east coast region should focus on agribusiness and bolstering the tourism infrastructure, in order to achieve long-term sustainability once travel restrictions are lifted.

To spearhead this initiative and coordinate with the poverty eradication programme in Terengganu, the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) plans to assist the rakyat who are facing challenges, particularly those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

In the long-term development of Terengganu, human capital will be crucial to addressing both the present needs of the rakyat through reskilling and upskilling programmes, as well as preventing the future-poor through education support for students.

According to ECERDC, with the revision of the country’s Poverty Line Income (PLI) from RM980 to RM2,502 for Terengganu in 2020, the number of households living under the poverty line in the state is expected to rise from 11,280 to 38,859, while the poverty rate among the 1,007 Orang Asli in Terengganu is absolute.

“To address this, ECERDC will spearhead and coordinate the poverty eradication programme in the ECER while continuing our market-centric human capital development programmes, strategic development projects and attract investment to the region which will open new job and entrepreneurship opportunities and reduce unemployment,” said ECERDC CEO Baidzawi Che Mat during the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) virtual meeting held yesterday.

Human development

ECERDC’s human capital development programmes runs on two parallel strategies, which will address both the current need for locals to secure better paying jobs in a rapidly transforming economy as well as the need to prevent future poor.

The programme will be centred on changing the mindset of the target group and providing them with skills that will enable them to either secure better employment or become entrepreneurs.

In the fight against poverty, special focus will be given to the Orang Asli households and this includes Standard 5 and 6 students in Orang Asli schools in Sungai Berua and Sungai Pergam.


With agriculture being the main economic focus of Terengganu (in line with the Terengganu Agricultural Strategic Plan 2019-2023), the state aims to utilise about 12,000 hectares of agricultural land to ensure the nation’s continuous food security.

By doing so, Terengganu will be a step closer towards its vision of becoming a self-sufficient state and move on to becoming a major food producer to the whole nation.

ECERDC plans to develop the Terengganu Dairy Valley in collaboration with the Terengganu state government and Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries by 2023 to meet the country’s milk consumption.

According to the Livestock Statistics, Malaysia imports 1,724.5 million litres of milk and milk products and locally produces only 43.3 million litres of fresh milk in 2019. This project is expected to add a further 10 to 11% of the local fresh milk production.

The country’s high import of beef will also be addressed as an outcome from the dairy milk business. At the same time, ECERDC is in the midst of identifying suitable areas to be developed for dairy cattle farming, beef cattle industrial farming, dairy goat farming and fisheries.


ECERDC aims to revive the state’s tourism sector by focusing on the Setiu Wetlands National Park, with plans to make it into a prime ecotourism destination in the country.

Complementing this is introducing the community-based tourism (CBT) approach to Setiu Wetlands, where tourists are guided by the local community.

Despite facing various economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ECERDC will intensify investment promotion activities to attract new investments by engaging with various chambers of commerce such as Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Terengganu Inc, and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), among others.

“Development of the local communities and empowering them to create wealth through better jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities is key to the long-term socio-economic development of the State.

“Therefore, ECERDC will continue to promote the Region as an attractive investment destination for both local and foreign investors, offering business-ready infrastructure, excellent connectivity and proactive human capital development programmes,” Baidzawi concluded. – Feb 17, 2021

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE