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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wan Junaidi slams Palanivel over Cameron Highlands

Natural Resources and Environment Minister says illegal activity occurred during predecessor's time in charge of ministry and expresses disappointment over latest allegations.
LANGKAWI: Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today slammed his predecessor G Palanivel for not doing anything about illegal land exploitation in Cameron Highlands when he was the minister in charge.
He said the MP for Cameron Highlands held the portfolio longer than him and should not make baseless allegations about the illegal activity.
“I am disappointed because Palanivel was Natural Resources and Environment Minister for two years. It has just been eight months since I succeeded him.
“Why didn’t he do anything (when he was the minister). Only now he is trying to act smart,” he told reporters here today.
He said this in reply to remarks by Palanivel on Friday that illegal land exploitation in Cameron Highlands was difficult to curb because it is masterminded by “influential individuals or groups”.
“If he (Palanivel) has detailed information on them (the masterminds), write to me, let me know,” he added.
He noted that amendments to the National Land Code were passed by the Dewan Rakyat pertaining to the matter, whereby offenders (who exploit land illegally) can be fined up to RM500,000.
Wan Junaidi said the tabling of the amendments was an initiative by his ministry to tackle illegal land enroachment like what was happening in Cameron Highlands.
He added that enforcement efforts also needed to be stepped up to go after the culprits.

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