NGOs Urge S’gor Govt To Respect Court’s Forest Protection Order On Land In Bukit Cherakah

Ongoing forest clearance of the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve beside Perdana heights (compartment 35).

SHAH ALAM, Aug 16 – Two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today urged the Selangor State Government to respect the interim stay order granted by the Shah Alam High Court on August 11th on an impending development on 406 hectares of land in Section U10 that forms part of the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve.

In a joint statement issued today, Shah Alam Community Forest Society (SACFS) and Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (PEKA) said the stay order followed the filing of a Judicial Review by the NGOs against the Selangor State Government following the degazettement of 406 hectares of land in Shah Alam Section U10.

“Following the order, the land is reverted back as part of Bukit Cherakah Forest Feserve. The
interim injunction given by the court applies to all parties and all work at this location must immediately
cease,” the statement said.

According to the NGOs, land-clearing activities were still being carried out by Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) and Restu Mantap Sdn Bhd (including its contractors YCH Construction Sdn Bhd) in Compartment 35 of the forest reserve.

“The Selangor Forestry Department must immediately enforce this interim injunction, ensure
that exposed slopes are protected from the elements. Bukit Cherakah was constituted as forest
reserve in 1909. The forest here continues to be important for flora and fauna, hiking communities and
as a protective buffer against global warming and climate change.

Development encroaching the Shah Alam Community Forest. Photo courtesy of PEKA and SACFS.

“We call on the Director of Selangor State Forestry Department to issue immediate stop-work
orders on all activities that threaten the integrity of the forest.”

PEKA and SACFS also urged banks and financial institutions to stop issuing loans for any businesses
causing deforestation.

“This is important in order to be in line with Bank Negara’s commitments to stop funding unsustainable projects. In particular, we call on all Malaysian banks, including Maybank, CIMB, and Public Bank, to give a commitment not to grant any loans for development projects inside the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve.

“Even though this is a small victory, we believe the harder part will be getting a permanent injunction
and making sure all parties follow the court order. We are working with other environmental CSOs
and concerned citizens to unite our voices to save Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve,” they said.