Anwar tells PAS minister not call Jerai landslides ‘act of God’, suggests logging to blame

The Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Malaysia detected at least four landslides had occurred on the slopes of Gunung Jerai following the water surge phenomenon on August 18, 2021. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama
The Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Malaysia detected at least four landslides had occurred on the slopes of Gunung Jerai following the water surge phenomenon on August 18, 2021. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan today after the latter categorised recent landslides at Kedah’s Gunung Jerai as an “act of god”. 

In Parliament this morning, Takiyuddin said so when responding to Jerai MP Sabri Azit who asked what remedial actions the federal government was taking to ensure the affected areas would be safe.

After Takiyuddin described the landslides as an “act of God”, Anwar interjected to tell the minister that such a response was unacceptable.

“On the issue of nature, please do not blame God (because) at times it is a problem caused by humans. This (answer) was even repeated by previous works minister, when there is an intrusion (illegal logging), it is an act of God, how do you say it is an act of god when humans act recklessly and destroy the trees,’’ he said before he was muted by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun. 

Takiyuddin then insisted that no logging activity has taken place in Gunung Jerai, which was gazetted as a National Geopark in conjunction with the coronation of the 29th Sultan of Kedah Sultan Sallehuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah in 2018. 

Takiyuddin further explained that the Jerai Geopark was also included in the Ulu Muda Forest reserve area constituting some 106,000 hectares of land. 

While forest products could be extracted from 88 per cent of this land, Takiyuddin said that the Kedah state government has not issued any logging licence in the past three years in the UIu Muda forest reserve.  

Takiyuddin then repeated his insistence that the landslides were an act of God, saying trees found in the aftermath that were uprooted and not felled supported this.

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