18 people illegally hiking in Panti Forest Reserve as seen on Facebook

JOHOR BAHRU, Dec 27 — Eighteen individuals are believed to have entered and hiked in the Panti Forest Reserve, Kota Tinggi without a permit on Dec 20.

Based on a posting on the official Facebook account of the Johor State Forestry Department (JPNJ), it had received a complaint on the illegal entry and hiking activity by the group of individuals via email and found the photos on it on the Facebook page of ‘Austin Glenn-Hiking Johor’.

Following this, JPNJ lodged a police report and asked the hikers involved to give a statement to the Kota Tinggi Forest Rangers Office within a week before further action could be taken by JPNJ under the law.

“For public information, the Panti Forest Reserve’s hiking and recreation area is under the management or supervision of JPNJ and the hike participants are suspected of having entered the forest reserve without a permit.

“This action is an offence under Section 47 of Act 313 (National Forestry Act 1984) which is punishable with a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or a jail term of not more than three years or both, upon conviction,” it said.

JPNJ advised the public to follow the law and regulations pertaining to entering any forest reserve and stated that any hiking or recreational activities there would first require a valid permit.

Meanwhile, Kota Tinggi district police chief, Supt Hussin Zamora when contacted, confirmed having received the report on Dec 25 and it would be referred to the police station in Batu Ampat as the incident happened in the area. — Bernama

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