Check with us before protesting, Perak official tells anti-logging groups

Perak State Communications, Multimedia, NGO and Cooperatives Development committee chairman Hasnul Zulkarnain Abdul Munaim speaks to the press in Ipoh May 14, 2019. — Picture by  Farhan Najib
Perak State Communications, Multimedia, NGO and Cooperatives Development committee chairman Hasnul Zulkarnain Abdul Munaim speaks to the press in Ipoh May 14, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 14 — Perak Communications, Multimedia, Non-governmental organisation (NGO) and Cooperatives Development Committee chairman Hasnul Zulkarnain Abdul Munaim urged environmental groups today to verify their information before objecting to logging in the state.

Hasnul asserted that the premature protests to all logging activity in Perak were harmful to the state’s economic activities and logging companies affected.

“They (environmental groups) should check with the state, whether we are following the right procedure to log the forests.

“This is the right way of doing it and not by going to the ground and holding protests to seek popularity,” he told a press conference at the State Secretariat Building here.

Hasnul argued that efforts to prevent the removal of felled logs would cause these to rot and devalue.

Such losses would then affect state revenue and harm licenced logging firms, he added.

Yesterday, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu accused such groups of disrupting the state government's effort to develop Perak.

Ahmad Faizal complained that the NGOs were ever-ready to block any and all logging in the state.

He argued that logging is not a crime as the state practises sustainable policies such as only allowing trees of a certain size and age to be felled.

The Perak MB also alleged that such groups were disingenuous with their claims of wanting to protect the Orang Asli, alleging that they rarely visited the community.

Since then, several NGOs have responded critically to the state government’s allegations and claimed these to be a diversion from its alleged failure to resolve the issues affecting the Orang Asli community.

Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA) chairman Hafizudin Nasarudin said his group has never obstructed the state’s development and was only intent on ensuring sustainability and environmental conservation.

Separately, Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said groups such as hers serve as a check-and-balance to the authorities and to provide independent, neutral views and opinions to crises.

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