KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — The Ministry of Environment has denied reports that its minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man defended logging activities in Kelantan, clarifying that he has pledged to protect the environment and biodiversity in Malaysia’s forests.
In a statement today, the ministry said that it will continue to do its job to protect the environment against anyone who threaten the biodiversity of plants and animals in Malaysia’s forests.
“The ministry wants to stress that logging activities are under the control of the state government,” it said in the statement.
“The Environment Ministry, as the leading agency in environmental and biodiversity will continue to implement the conservation, preservation and protection of the country's natural resources in accordance with existing policies and laws.
“In order to protect the forest sustainability and biodiversity, as well as enhancing monitoring and enforcement in ensuring compliance with existing regulations,” it added.
The ministry, which was separated from the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change from the previous Pakatan Harapan administration also said Tuan Ibrahim will meet the state government and stakeholders of the logging activities to address any environmental and biodiversity issues that crop up in the industry and will act upon those who break existing laws.
“The government will not hesitate to take action on any party found to be carrying out a violent crime in violation of national and forestry laws.
“The environment minister will hold discussions with the state government and stakeholders to develop strategies to address environmental and biodiversity issues,” it said.
Yesterday, Tuan Ibrahim was quoted saying such logging activities in Kelantan that is administered by his party PAS are legal, and any negative perception against it was the result of Opposition politicians.
In 2016, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council suspended its Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Kelantan state government.
SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd made this decision after the Kelantan State Forestry Department failed to satisfactorily resolve the major no-conformity raised in the surveillance audit.
The statement by the ministry comes after severe criticism including PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who today slammed Tuan Ibrahim over the matter.
Anwar also demanded the newly-formed ministry to explain if Tuan Ibrahim’s remark is its official stance in a social media post.