Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) refers to Menteri Besar Perak, YAB Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, statement to the media which was published in local dailies on 7 October 2016. The MB had questioned whether the State Government is in the wrong for excising part of the Segari Melintang Forest Reserve (HS Segari Melintang) for the purpose of developing public housing.
The issue here is not about right or wrong, but compliance with existing policies and regulations.
The excision of part of HS Segari Melintang contravenes physical planning, namely the Manjung District Local Plan 2030 which declares the land-use of the area as forests and Permanent Reserved Forest.
The excision of part of HS Segari Melintang is also in conflict with the National Forestry Policy 1978 (Amendment 1992) and the main Corporate Strategy of the Perak State Forestry Department, which is to maintain the area of existing Permanent Reserved Forest and also to increase the area of forest reserves.
For the record, the area covered by forests and natural areas in Segari has been destroyed from time to time. This is especially so in the excision of part of HS Segari Melintang.
The original area of HS Segari Melintang covered more than 4,000 hectares but the current area is about 2,720.79 hectares only (not including the recent excision).
SAM does not deny the power of the State Authority to excise either in part or the entire Permanent Reserved Forest, but if the justification is in the interest of development and economic growth, it is not impossible in the future that such areas will also be exploited.
Therefore SAM urges the State Authority to immediately stop the destruction of forests in Segari. If part of the HS Segari Melintang that was destroyed has been excised, SAM expects the State Authority to re-gazette the area as a Permanent Reserved Forest or replace it under Section 12 of the National Forestry Act 1984.
S.M MOHAMED IDRIS