MACC should disclose findings of probe into quarrying in Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve – PHM

The shaving and balding of Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve as seen from the Latar Highway. Photo courtesy of Abdul Razak/The Green Party.

SHAH ALAM, Dec 5 – Parti Hijau Malaysia (PHM) or The Green Party has urged the Selangor State Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to reveal the findings of its investigations into the provision of 27 licenses to carry out quarry operations in the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve in Gombak.

In a statement here today, PHM pro-tem secretary Abdul Razak said he had lodged an official report with the state MACC on October 7 this year, in his capacity as the then secretary of Otai Reformis 1998.

There was an email notice from MACC a month later, saying that report was under the action of MACC but there has not been any official statement or update from the anti-corruption agency on its action thus far, Razak said.

“One only has to drive along the highway near Gombak to see the level of damage already done in the area, the hills around the area are already looking bare.

“Our concern now is if no appropriate action is taken on time, and the quarrying activities are continued, there will be a negative impact to the eco system and habitats in the forest reserve which covers around 887 hectares (2,190 acres).

“It has also come to our notice that only one company had carried out an Environment Impact Assessment report, while it remains doubful if the other 26 companies have done so.”

PHM also appealed to the new Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, to intervene in the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve issue.

The issue is not only related to environment and climate change but the fact is Bukit Lagong is only 15 to 20 km from the city of Kuala Lumpur.

The heavy environmental damages, from quarrying in one of the final remaining green areas close to city, can be easily seen by people using the Plus Highway and Guthrie Highway just before the Lagong toll to Kuala Lumpur and from Gamuda Gardens in Latar Highway, Razak said.

Against the adversities that will result from climate change, it is only good for the new government to show its commitment to the pledges made to take care of the environment, he added.

— WE