THE state government is waiting for a detailed report by the Perak Forestry Department regarding the polluted river near the Pos Kemar orang asli settlement in Gerik.
Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said while the Perak Forestry Department conducts its investigations in the area, all logging activity would be temporarily suspended.
“We will identify the source of pollution in the river as I have also received a report about the contaminated water supply.
“I have asked the department’s director to hasten the investigation and report back to me as soon as possible,” he told a press conference.
Ahmad Faizal said that logging, which had been halted for seven months since last December following a protest, had resumed after a meeting.
“The meeting was conducted by the state Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA).
“In the meeting, it was decided that the project would continue and this caused the river water to turn murky,” he said.
Ahmad Faizal said the logging was part of a concession licensed to 10 companies between 2008 and 2009 on a 1,966ha piece of land in Temengor.
“It was for the development of a housing settlement for the orang asli and a rubber plantation under Risda.
“Currently, nine projects have been completed while one is still underway,” he said, adding the area licensed under the last project was about 186ha in size.
“The original period of the license was supposed to be from February 16 to August 15 last year but it has been renewed for the second time this year from February 16 to August 15,” he said.
On a separate matter, Ahmad Faizal had set up a State Economic Advisory Council, chaired by former Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Anuar Zaini.
Consisting of seven members, the other appointees included MK Land Holdings Berhad main founder Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, KL Kepong managing director Tan Sri Lee Ooi Hian, former Perak state secretary Datuk Seri Shamsudin Mat Dubi, Malaysian Investment Development Authority’s former deputy director general Datuk Dr J. Jegathesan, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming and former Master Builders Association Malaysia secretary Koon Yew Yin.
Ahmad Faizal said those appointed to the council possess vast experience in various fields and their appointments was finalised during the exco meeting.
“The Pakatan Harapan-led state government welcomes their contributions, as well as their views, for the betterment of the state.
“This council was set up to help encourage investments into the state more aggressively, spur economic growth and create more job opportunities for locals,” he said.