KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has been directed to establish a task force soon to closely monitor and maintain the shade trees in the capital city.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories) Dr Zaliha Mustafa stated that the task force would include stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations, arborists, and experts from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).

She said the task force could also gather information, collaborate with experts, and explore sustainable tree planting and maintenance systems from abroad.

“The task force will be established soon. As a short-term measure, we have instructed to cut down trees identified as being at risk of falling.

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“In the long term, we need to reassess all aspects of shade tree planting, including species, locations, and suitable land areas. Additionally, the monitoring, which was previously conducted every two years, will be more frequent from now on,” she said.

Dr Zaliha was speaking to reporters after a briefing session on flood retention ponds in Kampung Bohol, Kuala Lumpur, at the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau Building today.

Addressing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s directive to plant 100 trees for every tree felled in the city, Dr Zaliha stated that they would consult botanists to identify suitable tree species, locations, and number of trees to be planted.

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On May 7, a man died and another was injured when a tree fell on Jalan Sultan Ismail after a downpour.

Then on May 13, a similar incident occurred on Jalan Pinang, damaging a police vehicle escorting Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusof.

As a result, DBKL has been instructed to promptly cut down high-risk trees around the capital city. — Bernama