Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) refers to the statement by the YAB Menteri Besar of Perak at the State Legislative Assembly on 9 December 2014, as published in a number of local dailies.
The YAB Menteri Besar was quoted as saying that the State Authority has approved the gazettement of several Permanent Reserved Forests (PRF) since 2010 until now. However, questions arise and SAM would like to seek clarification with regards two areas gazetted as Permanent Reserved Forests (PRF), i.e.Teluk Muroh Forest Reserve and Piah Forest Reserve.
Both areas have long been gazetted as PRF. Teluk Muroh Forest Reserve’s date of gazettement was 28 October 1948 whilst Piah Forest Reserve was gazetted on29 January 1915, but both forest reserves have been partly excised several times.
Based on references and documentation, part of Teluk Muroh Forest Reserve was re-gazetted on 28 April 2004 (Gazette No: 746) covering 89.83 hectares but the State Executive Council had approved the excision of part of the forest reserve covering an area of 121.16 hectares on January 6, 2010.
According the YAB Menteri Besar, Piah Forest Reserve was gazetted on 23 January 2013 but based on the State Gazette, part of the forest reserve covering 994 hectares was excised on 12 March 2014 (Gazette No: 601).
The State Authority and Perak Forestry Department should also explain the excision on 2nd October 2014 (Gazette No: 2161) of the entire Ijok Forest Reserve which is a water catchment forest.According to the State Gazette, the Ijok Forest Reserve covering 293 hectares was classified as Water Catchment Forest [Section 10.(1)(e), National Forestry Act 1984 – Gazette No: 951].
YAB Menteri Besar stated that since 2006 until 30 October 2014, a total of 15,867 hectares of forest reserve was excised. This statement reinforces SAM’s previous statement that the State Authority has excised more than 10,000 hectares of permanent reserved forest since 21 May 2009 until now.
SAM urges the State Authority and Perak Forestry Department to provide clarification on the issues raised.
S.M. Mohamed Idris