Shade no more: Some of the trees along Jalan Kuching that have been illegally trimmed.
SHADY trees along Jalan Kuching have been trimmed bare, presumably to increase the visibility of a nearby billboard, without the approval of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
DBKL Landscape and Recreation Department director Mustafa Mohd Nor said he was told of the trees being trimmed two weeks ago and the department was investigating the matter.
“DBKL did not commission any contractor to trim the trees along that stretch. I suspect it must be the work of the billboard owner.
“The tall shady trees may have blocked the billboard, leading to the owner resorting to trimming the branches,” he said.
A check by StarMetro revealed that the billboard does not have an advertisement yet, but the trees had been trimmed down to only a few branches left.
A motorist who uses the route regularly, (who declined to be named) said the trees were trimmed earlier this month.
“There is nothing wrong with the trees. One can only conclude that it is done to advertise the billboard space because the same trees are found along Jalan Kuching but only the ones close to the billboard were trimmed.
“The billboard should not be placed there if it was not suitable. Trees should not be sacrificed for reasons such as this. After all, the billboard is new while the trees took years to grow and are providing shade and helping the ecosystem.
Mustafa said under Act 267 of the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982, Section 36(1), no person was allowed to fell or cut any tree with a girth exceeding 1m except for the prevention of imminent danger or in compliance with any written law.
The girth should be measured half a metre from the ground. The guilty party can be fined not exceeding RM5,000.
“Besides that, we also have
an anti-vandalism by-law
where those found guilty of destroying public property can
be fined not more than RM2,000,” he said.
Malaysian Nature Society head of communications Andrew Sebastian said the tree did not seem to have been trimmed but looked “butchered”.
“Taking all the leaves and foliage away will have a negative impact on the plant and is unnatural. There is no reason to ruin a tree in this manner, although the tree may survive, the unnatural pruning will definitely affect the health of the trees.
“We urge DBKL to come down hard on the culprit. Kuala Lumpur, which aspires to be a green city, should embrace trees and not destroy it,” he said.