IPOH, Feb 27 — The Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah has been briefed on the proposed forest plantation at the Kledang Saiong permanent forest reserve (HSK), which was objected to by several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad.
Saarani said the project did not violate any regulations, adding that the total area approved under the Forest Plantation Development Zone (ZPLH) was 100,000 hectares (ha), but the state government had reduced the size to around 32,000ha.
“When the federal government announced the moratorium on forest plantations, we had about 6,000ha of land left, which we approved last year with permission from the minister.
“Apart from Kledang Saiong, there were already forest plantations created, so this is not unusual. However, this is being brought up as the public hearing process is ongoing, and the people can provide feedback to the state government,” he said.
He told reporters this after launching the Early Warning System (EWS) for water surges and the Tree Planting Campaign for 2023 at the Kledang Saiong Eco Park here today.
Saarani said the state government also complied with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Department of Environment (DOE), which examined the risk of the project, including flood disaster.
“If DOE says it cannot be done because of the risk of flooding, for instance, we will not do it. But, if not, we can continue because this is reforestation.
“We do not exceed the quota and carry out the project according to regulations and procedures. We are trying our best to ensure that this project does not make our state lose its forests and so on, and all processes are taken into account and done in stages,” he said.
On February 17, eight NGOs submitted a memorandum to the Sultan of Perak’s office to request the Ruler to intervene in the proposed 4,280-ha monoculture farming project at the Kledang Saiong HSK.
The NGOs also requested Sultan Nazrin to instruct the state authorities to comply with the decision made at the 79th National Land Council meeting on December 2, 2021, to impose a 15-year moratorium on approvals for new forest plantations in permanent forest reserves in the peninsula. — Bernama