Vale, one of the world’s leading mining companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth RM5.6 million with Majlis Perbandaran Manjung (MPM) today to support sustainable urban development initiatives in the district over the next two years.
The MoU, signed between Leonardo Paiva, CEO of Vale in Malaysia and Yang Dipertua MPM Syamsul Hazeman Bin Md Salleh, entails a strategic partnership between the two parties to deliver various projects. These projects include a heritage-focused urban rejuvenation initiative in Beruas, the improvement of facilities in Teluk Batik, and the development of a modern urban farming ecosystem across the district. The signing ceremony was witnessed by YB Sandrea Ng Shy Ching, Member of The Perak State Executive Council (EXCO).
Leonardo Paiva emphasized the significance of this partnership in Vale’s journey to create sustainable value for the communities in Manjung, He stated “We are excited to work with MPM to further enhance the district’s vibrancy through community-centric projects that are designed to create a lasting socioeconomic impact for the local communities”.
Vale’s partnership with MPM is set to kick off in November, with the installation of art pieces in Beruas and Teluk Batik. “We are infusing socially conscious elements in our initiatives in Beruas – our first flagship mural in the town will be commissioned by a team of talented local mural artistes, including emerging female artistes,” Leonardo added.
Beruas was selected as one of the pilot locations for Vale’s partnership with MPM due to its rich heritage value. Leonardo commented, “Beruas offers a unique cultural tapestry, with a historically significant archaeological museum, a diverse population, and a charming setting that evokes nostalgia. With the opening of the West Coast Expressway (WCE), there is a potential for Beruas to emerge as a vibrant cultural tourism destination in Perak”.
Apart from Beruas, work will also commence soon in Teluk Batik, a beach precinct popular among families. YDP Syamsul Hazeman said, “Teluk Batik is one of Manjung’s most famous tourism attractions. We are excited to collaborate with Vale to spruce up the public realm at the beach, through the commissioning of unique sculptures and attractions”.
The Teluk Batik beach precinct is located adjacent to the 715-acre Vale Eco Center (VEC), an environmental conservation hub fully owned and operated by Vale. In October 2022, Vale announced a RM5.0 million plan to upgrade VEC to support more visitors. “We have identified a lot of potential from connecting the Teluk Batik beach with VEC as an integrated ecotourism product in the future. Leveraging on the strength of these two attractions will help us increase tourism economy in the area, providing a boost for local hotels and small businesses,” YDP Syamsul Hazeman added.
A focus on food security
Food security is a key focus, as a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) highlighted it as one of the most profound challenges arising from rapid urbanisation in Asia. Understanding the interconnectedness between food security and the community’s general wellbeing, Vale is allocating up to RM600,000 until 2025 to upgrade seven existing community farms in the Manjung district.
Leonardo explained that Vale’s investment is aimed at facilitating the adoption of modern urban farming technologies to increase the productivity in these existing community farms throughout Manjung
“Each community farm is unique and caters to the specific needs of the community that it serves. We are identifying a team of specialists with the experience in implementing successful urban farm projects to develop a detailed technical assessment on how we can best proceed,” he said. Ultimately, the programme is aimed at making the community farms in Manjung to be viable and self-sustaining by the end of 2025.
The MoU between Vale and MPM continues the company’s series of engagements with local stakeholders to deliver strategic community investments in Manjung. Over the past decade, Vale has invested over RM70 million in social programmes to benefit various communities, especially those living close to the company’s operational site in Teluk Rubiah.
Leonardo concluded, “Manjung’s growth over the last decade has been inspiring, and we hope that our partnership with MPM will help to enhance its resilience and liveability, especially in view of the evolving challenges that its rapidly urbanising society is facing,”