KUANTAN: Pahang has a total of 1.56 million ha under Permanent Forest Reserve (PFR) or 43% of the total area in the state, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
He said the acreage showed that Pahang was able to preserve the forest at a high percentage, despite actively carrying out economic activities, as these were carefully and holistically implemented.
Wan Rosdy, however, admitted the state government was facing illegal intrusion involving 2,530ha to date.
“Among the areas involved are Cameron Highlands, Raub and Bukit Ibam in Rompin.
“To overcome this problem, the Pahang Forestry Department always takes appropriate measures, besides periodic monitoring.
“For this year, the department has conducted three operations along with enforcement agencies such as the police and immigration department to curb this problem, ” he said at the Pahang state assembly sitting to a question from Datin Samsiah Arshad (BN-Bukit Ibam), who wanted to know the PFR area in the state.
The PFR intrusion issue was also touched on by Sim Chong Siang (PH-Teruntum) at the assembly, who claimed almost 50ha of the forest at Sungai Lembing was illegally exploited and this could be seen clearly from the plane.
To a supplementary question from Andansura Rabu (PAS-Beserah), Wan Rosdy said the Forest Department’s enforcement action was based on complaints from the public or through the department’s patrolling.
“This action also takes into account various factors.
“It is not that today we receive a complaint, the next day we can conduct the operation as it involves manpower and safety.
“This is because the invaders are usually linked with the underworld and they threaten officers. The state government is also considerate, ” he said.
Wan Rosdy added: “The state government is concerned too. If the forest is being cleared for a living, then the enforcement will be slightly delayed, but if expoited on a larger scale, then action will be taken after a thorough investigation.”
In another development, he said the state government collected RM309,615 through entry fee to Mossy Forest in Cameron Highlands since it was introduced on March 1 until June 30 this year. — Bernama