BESTARI JAYA, April 11 — The proposal to degazette the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is still under discussion and the Selangor government is examining the views of relevant experts, said Selangor Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Orang Asli Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian.
Hee said many aspects need to be taken into account before a decision on the status of the degazetting of the forest is made including the socio-economy, development and welfare of the Orang Asli.
“I am also taking into account the views of experts and professors from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and other universities on whether the forest should be degazetted or not.
“We respect the views of non-governmental organisations and the Orang Asli, and as a caring government, we will look at all aspects not only of forests but the Orang Asli, and economic and development aspects,” he told reporters after handing over a land title to a Chinese temple here, today.
He said if the degazetting of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is implemented, the state government would replace it with better forests.
“We will not reduce the number of forest reserves in the state of Selangor. That is why we have to think about many aspects because if we want to remove it, we have to find a replacement (forest) that is of better quality than the existing one...that is our policy.
“So to have development in the state of Selangor we will ensure that the total forest area is maintained at or more than 32 per cent,” he said.
The Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve, gazetted on May 13, 1927, and located in Mukim Tanjung 12, Kuala Langat district in Selangor, came to public attention following notice of public investigation under Section 11 of the National Forestry (Adoption) Enactment 1985 (Subrule 7 (2)) by the Selangor Forestry Department early last year.
The notice, which seeks to gain public opinion following the proposed degazetting of the forest reserve, sparked controversy among the community, especially the Orang Asli community who have depended on the forest for their livelihood for hundreds of years. — Bernama