IPOH, Jan 17 — The Perak Forestry Department will investigate the viral photos and claims that logging activities are going on at the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve in Kuala Kangsar.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said so far his office had not received a report on the matter while not ruling out the possibility that these were old photos.

“If the claim is true, then the Forest Department will investigate,” he said commenting on several photos of the forest area showing tree trunks that were cut down allegedly to have occurred in the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve, Kuala Kangsar.

He said this when met by reporters after attending the “Doa Selamat” and “Santai Bersama Menteri Besar Perak” programme here today.

He added if there is illegal logging, legal action can be taken but an investigation must be carried out first.

“The perpetrators can be charged and imposed a heavy penalty. Logging areas need a licence based on the approval made by the forest revenue committee,” he added

Meanwhile, when asked about the order to farmers to vacate land in Kanthan and Tanah Hitam, Chemor here by the State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC), Saarani said his office was waiting for a court order.

“Negotiations have been made but nothing has been solved,” he said.

He said the state government needed to make preparations to provide infrastructure in the area, including to develop Silver Valley Technology Perak (SVTP) following several requests received from foreign investors.

He said SVTP was one of the industrial parks proposed for the use of investors and its development would be expedited according to schedule as it was in demand.

SVTP is a new industrial park in Chemor and is expected to drive the high-tech manufacturing sector and act as a catalyst for Industrial Revolution 4.0.

The issue of eviction of farmers in Kanthan and Tanah Hitam had been raised by several state assemblymen in the Perak state assembly sitting last December. — Bernama