Why deals are being signed involving forest areas and where is the promise on HSKLU? – Activist

Just what is beneath or above the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve area both the northern and southern zones that they have become the target for clearance, while a call for a SELCAT hearing since early this year has been ignored even if many quarters including members of the Selangor government have called for the regazettement of the forest reserve. Selangor only has 31 percent forested area now, says Abdul Razak Ismail, Secretary of Otai Reformasi. Graphics courtesy of Global Forest Watch files.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 – There has been no black and white document so far from the Selangor government on the regazetting the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve (HSKLU), says environmental activist and Secretary of Otai Reformis, Abdul Razak Ismail.

A promise was made that the regazetting will be done officially before Hari Raya Aidilfitri but this has not been the case.

If anything, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has been signing deals that involve the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve (the forest reserve are divided into two zones, namely a northern zone and southern zone) area, he said, including one on clearing the area for growing corn in the southern zone, he said.

There has been also talk that another deal has been signed for timber clearing and a quarry operation in Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve in the Gombak area, but no full information has been forthcoming on this despite a letter written to the state government and also the Forest Department to confirm the matter under the Freedom of Information (State of Selangor) Enactment 2011, he said.

“Why are they signing deals to clear the forest area? Why are they signing deals to grow corn, when the state still has some empty agricultural lands available for such projects? Are there plans to later convert the used farm land for property developments?

“On the KLNFR, it has been more than eight months since the Selangor government cancelled its plans in September last year to develop the northern part of the forest reserve. But no official document has been forthcoming,” he told Weekly Echo recently.

A consortium of environmental organisations had come together last year to oppose the state’s plans to develop the area including 8.5 hectares for the construction of Air Selangor water pipes in the area.

“We had suggested that the pipes be built without having to enter the forest area.”

Razak said he was also disappointed with the state’s refusal to hold a public session on the matter by the Special Select Committee On Competency, Accountability and Transparency (SELCAT).

“We wrote in a letter requesting for the session on February 7 this year and we received a reply dated April 6 on the matter.

“According to the reply, the SELCAT committee had met on April 5 and decided that there was no need for such a public hearing considering that the Selangor state government had taken action. What action?. The Menteri Besar promised a SELCAT hearing but he has been full of rethorics since,” Razak said.