KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The proposed degazettement of the Kuala Langat Utara forest reserve is still in the research phase, as the Selangor government awaits reports from the state Forestry Department, following town hall sessions in September, said Hee Loy Sian.

Hee, who is the state exco for tourism, environment, green technology and indigenous people’s affairs, said that the Selangor government has received 45,000 complaints over the proposed degazettement of the forest reserve and plans to speak to more experts before a final decision is made.

“We are still waiting for the Public Investigation Reports which will be completed by the Selangor Forestry Department where we will take all opinions into account, including from the public, Orang Asli community and NGOs who attended the town hall sessions.

“For now, there is no exact date for the conclusion of the degazettement for the Kuala Langat Utara forest reserve,” he told the Selangor state assembly today.

Hee was answering an oral question from Lau Weng San (PH-Banting) over the degazettement plan that has been met with controversy.

Datuk Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PAS-Sijangkang) then stood up and asked the state government to clarify the true size of the areas listed under the planned degazettement, saying it would clear up any confusion over the matter.

Hee then explained that the state plans to degazette about 2,400 acres of the area, of which 150 acres will be given to the Orang Asli of Busut Besar.

“The true size (of the degazettement) is 2,400 acres, with 150 acres degazetted to the indigenous people there,” he said.

On September 28, Selangor state media reported Hee as saying the Selangor government will replace the Kuala Langat Utara forest reserve with a total of 1,177.31 hectares (2,909.2 acres) of land should the degazettement proceed.

During the town hall session, Hee had said the state government will gazette a larger area to include 308.6 hectares of the Sungai Panjang forest reserve, 606.8 hectares of the Sabak Bernam forest reserve, and the Ampang Pechah forest in Hulu Selangor.

“The Selangor state executive council approved the replacement of the forests on January 31.

“The state government is also mulling the approval of expanding the area to be replaced, which includes 190.2 hectares in Ampang Pechah, Mukim Buloh Telor and Hulu Langat. This is due to the high biodiversity that makes it suited for a forest reserve,” he said when met at the public hearing session then.