Monday, May 09, 2016
Salor assemblyperson Husam Musa has questioned the PAS-led Kelantan government for its weak enforcement in dealing with illegal logging activities in the state.
Husam, who formerly chaired the state economic planning, finance and welfare committee, said the Kelantan Forestry Department must act early because it had officers who were assigned to ensure that its forests would not be encroached.
"The department has its own foresters stationed in the forest. If people have stolen up to 20,000 acres, these officers should be aware of it much earlier than that.
"If secret passage was the excuse they have given, no matter how secret the passage is, someone would have noticed, whether the they cleared were 5,000 acres or 20,000 acres," Husam (photo) told a press conference in Kota Baru yesterday.
Previously, the department's director Zahari Ibrahim was reported as saying more than 400 hectares (988.42 acres) of Ulu Galas and Batu Papan Forest Reserves in Gua Musang had been illegally exploited by syndicates.
These syndicates used the names of the Sultan of Kelantan and members of his royal families to trick people into buying the land, which they claimed would be turned into rubber and oil palm plantations, as well as banana farms.
Husam, who was also a former PAS vice-president, claimed that logging activities in Kelantan were not the normal logging activities where trees that were still relatively young and did not meet the right specifications were also cut.
"What happens in Kelantan is a total cutting down of trees solely for commercial purposes. In fact, it is among the most rampant in peninsular Malaysia now," he said.
- Bernama - Malaysiakini, 2/5/2016