KUCHING: Sarawak has unveiled 12 new plants including a begonia named after Puan Sri Jamilah Anu, the wife of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
The "Begonia jamilahanuaina" and the other new species were discovered following the implementation of the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-Rich Areas of Sarawak or Rimba Sarawak, which was launched in August last year.
Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Wong Ting Chung said the discovery of the new species were made by a joint survey team comprising scientists from the corporation and Singapore Botanical Gardens.
"I would be failing in my duty if I did not put on record our gratitude to the wife of the Chief Minister, who has graciously agreed for one of the newly-discovered species to be named after her," said Wong in his speech during a "Rimba Rumblings" event here today.
Present was the chief minister, who was accompanied by Jamilah.
The "Begonia jamilahanuaina" was discovered in the Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary.
It was among nine new species of Begonia discovered thanks to the Rimba Sarawak initiative. Other new plant species found include an orchid, a type of ginger and one Marantacae.
Adenan later applauded the SFC following the discoveries produced from its Rimba Sarawak
"I thank them for naming the new species after wife. I am suspicious as to why they did not name it after me.
"But this is the normal practice," joked Adenan.
"Rimba Sarawak in not a public relations exercise but a serious effort to conserve forests in the state," said Adenan.