Forest reserve being degazetted to prevent bush fires, says Selangor MB

Diyana Ibrahim

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari speaking at a press conference in Shah Alam today. He rejected claims that the proposal violates the administration’s promise to maintain 32% of its land as forest reserves, as other land will be gazetted reserves to make up for it. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 20, 2020.

THE Selangor government defended its plans to allow development of a permanent forest reserve in Kuala Langat, saying it will prevent bush fires.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said 930ha of the forest no longer had the “characteristics” of a permanent forest reserve as 40% of it was depleted and frequently caught fire.

“(A total of) 40% of the area is depleted forest and frequently catches fire, and it no longer has any elements of a forest reserve or virgin forest.

“It is a depleted forest. There are no trees and its ecosystem has been disrupted,” Amirudin told a press conference in Shah Alam today.

“So, we are trying to change the area to match the surroundings because in front is the Selangor business capital project by PKNS and next to it is a Gamuda Corp project.

“So, we are ending its permanent forest reserve status to prevent forest fires.”

On February 5, the Selangor Forestry Department had placed a notice in a newspaper inviting stakeholders in the Kuala Langat district to voice their objections to the proposal within 30 days.

By state law, public opinion must be sought before any exercise to degazette a forest reserve.

The state government plans to erect mixed-development projects on the site.

However, Orang Asli living near the reserve are protesting against the state government’s plans, saying land in the reserve belongs to them.

Environmentalists have also warned that the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve, as a peat swamp and low-land forest, was important to preserve for its biodiversity and climate-control function.

They also said that degazetting the forest runs contrary to the Selangor Structure Plan 2035 to maintain 32% of land as forest reserves.

Amiruddin said in response that the plan was only in the proposal stage and a final decision has yet to be made.

“We will only decide after assessing all the technical reports. This is only at the proposal stage. We will take public interest into account in making our decision.

“Selangor is the only state government that does public hearings. We could have silently done what we wanted but we will continue this process (of hearings). Any expert or civil society body can come and voice their opposition.”

He also rejected claims that the decision would violate the administration’s promise to maintain 32% of its land as forest reserves.

He said the lost forest reserve will be replaced with a new reserve to be gazetted in Hulu Selangor and Sabak Bernam.

“We will replace the lost forest land with more forest land of up to 1,092ha whose ecosystem is also peat swamp land,” he said.

“The new forests will be combined with the Raja Muda Musa forest reserve (in Kuala Selangor) and Selangor will have the largest peat swamp forest in the country.”

Selangor currently has 70 forest reserves. – February 20, 2020.

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  • Can't you rejuvenate it? Replant the trees? Don't hide behind flimsy excuses.

    Posted 4 years ago by Alex Lim · Reply

  • What a reason for trying to seize the land for their cronies. No trees in a forest reserve? Somebody is lying!

    Posted 4 years ago by Alex Liew · Reply

  • What nonsense the MB is talking? He is telling us, he doesn't need to consult us actually, do so as a matter of courtesy. Another greedy leader. Degazette for affordable housing below RM150k will benefit the rakyat. Do it for the rakyat if u r sincere.

    Posted 4 years ago by James Wong · Reply

  • Anyone heard of bush fire in that area? Bush or bullshit?

    Posted 4 years ago by James Wong · Reply

  • Orang asli land being grabbed all over the country. For goodness sake, they are the orang asal, earlier than you Bumis.

    Posted 4 years ago by No Gostan · Reply

  • Brains of a moron. Pls go and study before talking rubbish.

    Posted 4 years ago by Besaman Mucho · Reply

  • Another excuse to strip & damage the environment. Show the Rakyat Statistic of forest fires! What are the Action taken to

    Posted 4 years ago by Haris Haikal · Reply

  • Bad carpenter blaming his tools! Cronies & friendly partners waiting to buy these land! We need the trees, go replant it & save the trees! Not clearing it to sell the land!

    Posted 4 years ago by Haris Haikal · Reply

  • Just do your job and prevent encroachment in the first place..

    Posted 4 years ago by Baru Malaysian · Reply

  • Pakatan government is an enemy of the environment.
    Barisan Nasional gazetted huge areas of Selangor to form the Selangor State Park (bigger than taman negara). Pakatan degazetted ot and allowed the EKVE to bulldozer everything down.

    And now this bushfire excuse... Is the MB Aussie? Healthy rainforests generate their own micro climate and rain clouds. Jungles are like sponges that preserve water and prevent sudden flooding. And they do this for free. No mum to billin What bush fire from which world is he blabbering about?

    Posted 4 years ago by Baru Malaysian · Reply

  • What a stupid reason.

    Posted 4 years ago by Raghu Thiyagarajan · Reply

  • Bushfires?? Didnt know we are living in a land down under. Maybe the Selangor MB is a secret Australian citizen.

    Posted 4 years ago by Kinetica Cho · Reply

  • If he goes through with this he will not be our selangor representative for long. The first opportunity we get we will vote him out. So far his performance as the MB of Selangor is pathetic.

    Posted 4 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply