Special task force formed to curb illegal deforestation in Cameron Highlands, minister says

File picture showing an exposed hillslope at a farmland in Cameron Highlands. Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said today the MKN would ensure that the forest areas in the area were not illegally cleared by irresponsible parties. — File pic
File picture showing an exposed hillslope at a farmland in Cameron Highlands. Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said today the MKN would ensure that the forest areas in the area were not illegally cleared by irresponsible parties. — File pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The National Security Council (MKN) has formed a special task force to curb illegal deforestation in Cameron Highlands, Pahang.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said the task force comprises officers form the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and other enforcement agencies.

“This task force will monitor areas identified as hotspots for illegal deforestation for 24 hours,” he told Bernama when asked to comment on illegal deforestation in Cameron Highlands.

He said the MKN would ensure that the forest areas in Cameron Highlands were not illegally cleared by irresponsible parties.

“We will take legal action against those involved if they refuse and continue to clear the forest areas.”

Shahidan said the MKN would destroy the illegal structures and small settlements built by the intruders to prevent the deforestation of more areas.

“The deforestation is done by foreigners on behalf of some people who have become filthy rich.”

He said tough government action in Cameron Highlands forced most of them to flee to Lojing forest area in Kelantan.

“As such, I urge the Kelantan state government to seek help from the federal government so that joint action can be taken to curb such activities,” he added. — Bernama

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