KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 – Logging activity has been rampant in the Kuala Raka forest reserve area despite an order dated January 3 from the Director of the Pahang Forest Department banning logging in the state temporarily, said Bilut Assemblyman Lee Chin Chen.
He said he has been receiving many complaints from residents in Taman Shahbandar Height, Bentong, which is located in front of the forest area, that widespread logging have been taking place in the forest.
In a statement issued Thursday, Lee said the residents heard loud noises coming from the sawing of timber, and trees falling down from morning till evening the whole of last week.
He said he was shocked to hear that logging was still ongoing in the area as such an activity would be illegal following the order given by the forest department to stop logging.
Lee said he had gone to the area to confirm what the residents were saying and ended up clearly hearing the loud noise of the felling of trees.
He said he managed to record the activities via drone.
Meanwhile, a notice board erected in the area shows that the timber license has been awarded to Asialis Corporation Sdn Bhd by the Forest Department to carry out logging from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2022.
Lee also said he suspected that the logging activities would have contributed to the flash floods in Bentong considering that the logging activities were ongoing during the recent floodings.
Meanwhile, Tras Assemblyman Chow Yu Hui, whose mother is a resident of Taman Shahbandar Height, said he and several residents have lodged a police report against the timber company, alleging that their logging activity was illegal.
He hoped the police would take the appropriate action if the logging had been illegal.
Chow also took the Menteri Besar of Pahang to task, saying that the latter had said that the state’s main objective was to take of the environment but what was happening on the grounds was the opposite.
He said the people of Bentong are already traumatised by the floods and there was substantial evidence showing that the “Timber Tsunami” in Sungai Perdak last month clearly showed that the state was allowing logging and this was affecting the environment in the area.
“The state must immediately cease to give timber licenses anymore as the people will not be able to handle another flood scenario.”