MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Friday, August 5, 2022

Selangor govt hauled to court over degazettement of Bukit Cherakah


Two environmental groups have taken the Selangor government to court over the degazettement of part of Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve.

The Shah Alam Community Forest Society (SACF) and Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) filed the judicial review leave application to overturn the degazettement two days ago at the Shah Alam High Court.

Degazettement refers to the removal of legal protection against development in relation to a forest area.

According to the cause papers, the applicants are Lim Teck Wyn and Damien Thaman Divean, who represented both non-governmental organisations respectively.

The respondents are the Selangor state government, its executive councillors, the state forestry department directors, and the Petaling Land and Mines Department.

The environmentalists seek to challenge the legality of the degazettement of 406ha of land in the forest reserve.

The applicants claim that the degazettement decision was stale as it was made 22 years ago.

They claimed it was unlawful for the state government to backdate the gazette notification - issued on May 5 this year - by the state forestry department, to be referring to the state executive council’s decision in 2000.

Bukit Cherakah trail

In May this year, there was viral news about the statement on the degazetting of 406.22ha of the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve, Section U10, which was allegedly not via a public hearing process in accordance with Section 11 of the Selangor State Forestry Act (EAPN) 1985. EAPN was amended by the Selangor government in 2011.

Then later this month, the Selangor Forestry Department clarified that the May 5 gazette notification to degazette the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve is to complete the delisting process that stopped around 2006.

The environmentalists claimed that the state government should have held a public inquiry per the National Forestry Act (Amendment) Enactment 2011.

The judicial review leave application is fixed for hearing before Shah Alam High Court judge Shahnaz Sulaiman next Thursday.

If the court grants leave, then it would later set another date to hear the merits of the judicial review proper.

Lawyers Rajesh Nagarajan and Sachpreetraj Singh Sohanpal are acting for the two environmental groups. - Mkini

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