IPOH, March 7 ― Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) central committee member R. Mohanarani today urged the authorities to reveal the name of the company involved in the illegal land clearing at Kledang Hill.
“We had lodged a police report about three weeks ago after knowing about the encroachment. But until today, the authorities or state government did not reveal the person behind the illegal land clearing,” she told a press conference at Kledang Hill.
“By right police and state government should have known the culprit behind this incident.
“We are disappointed and wanted the authorities to reveal the name of the individuals. Please don't protect them,” she added.
Mohanarani also hopes that the new government will not continue plans of the previous government after the land in the area has been restored and stabilised.
“The public did not want any development in the forest. If the state government wanted to build housing, please do it in a flat area and not in hill or forest,” she said.
Earlier Mohanarani, together with members from Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), Kumpulan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA), Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (PEKA) and local residents revisited the affected area to check on the restoration work.
SAM's field officer Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman said that he is satisfied with the current restoration works, but suggested that the re-plantation should have commenced by now.
“Representative from the state government told us that they are working on the mitigation work in the area to avoid landslide and flash flood. The re-plantation works might take some time.
“What we suggest is that there is no point of waiting for the responsible company to come and re-plant the trees, maybe we can organise a programme by inviting the resident to re-replant the trees here, but of course the cost should be bared by the state government,” he said.
Meor Razak also said it would take about 10,000 trees to fill the affected 10-hectare land and each tree is estimated to cost about RM5.
Meanwhile, resident Goh Ah Poon, 61, said that he is willing to participate and fully support the re-planting programme to make the place green again.
“I can mobilise some of the residents as well, we welcome and fully support such programme for the love of the jungle here,” he said.
On February 6, SAM raised the alarm on suspicious land-clearing activities at Kledang Hill, that is part of the Kledang-Saiong Forest Reserve.
Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBInc) Chief Executive Officer Anuar Zainal Abidin later confirmed that the land clearing is indeed illegal encroachment, which involves a part of the MBInc land and also state land, for the purpose of oil palm plantation.