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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pahang MB urged to answer about forest reserve invasion in his area

Up to 2,735 hectares of forest reserves in Bentong, Pahang have been invaded through activities such as logging and mining, alleged PKR's Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.
"The state government, especially (Pahang Menteri Besar) Adnan Yaakob, has to answer. This is his area," she said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Adnan is the assemblyperson for Pelangai, which is within the Bentong area.
Fuziah said the forest reserves which were being exploited in the area were Bukit Tinggi, Kelau/Raka and Lentang.
Bukit Tinggi and Lentang were sensitive areas because they were hilly and were water reservoir areas, she said.
The proof of the impact of forest exploitation, she said, was the landslide on the Karak Highway on Nov 11 last year, which shut down the highway for four days.
The firefighters said it was caused by an overflowing water reservoir, but Fuziah claimed many parties had scouted that area and found traces of logging, which was denied by the state government.
Informants had also purportedly told her that 502 hectares at Bukit Tinggi had been used for illegal mining.
"This is a worrying piece of news seeing as illegal mining involves uncontrollable elements," she said.
For example, she said, there was a high possibility of cyanide contamination in the process of gold mining.
She also brought up the Kemasul forest reserve, which she said had about 10,776 hectares which had yet to be restored.
The Kemasul forest reserve was used as a plantation forest as early as 1974, she said, and it was a failure.
The special audit report showed that only 52 percent of the land area had been restored, she said.

Yesterday, she and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli pointed out invasions of forest reserves in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's constituency Pekan.
She said she had information on forest invasions in other parts in Pahang and would reveal them later.
Malaysiakini has contacted the Pahang Forestry Department and is awaiting its response on this matter.- Mkini

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