PETALING JAYA: Proposed plans by the Pakatan Harapan-led Selangor state government to degazette the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) for development is unacceptable, says Datuk Ng Chok Sin.
The Selangor MCA state liaison committee chairman said the move to degazette the KLFNR for development was a betrayal to the people of Selangor, citing last November's state assembly sitting that passed a motion to protect all forest reserves.
"It was revealed two days ago (Aug 30) in the state assembly sitting that the Pakatan state government degazetted 54% of the KLNFR since May for commercial development," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 1).
On Aug 30, state Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Orang Asli Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the decision for the degazettement was made under Section 12 of the National Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985 in a May 5 state exco meeting.
Hee also said the decision was validated in another meeting on May 19 and the land would be given to a private company – Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd – for a mixed-commercial development.
Ng said the state government's unilateral decision to degazette forest reserves was unacceptable and that it must revoke the decision.
"As a responsible administration, the Selangor state government should never put profits above the people's welfare.
"In fact, there are still many pressing issues in Selangor which warrant more attention such as water supply, flash floods, dengue, traffic congestion and other infrastructure issues," he said.
Citing reports, Ng said there were many lands in Bestari Jaya, Rawang, Selayang and Shah Alam that were available for development and questioned why non-forest reserve lands were not considered for commercial development.
"Forest reserves are important to ensure nature continues to thrive alongside civilisation. Such profit-driven decisions are clearly not made with the people's interest in mind," he added.
The KLNFR with 8,000-year-old forests, was gazetted as a permanent forest reserve spanning across an area of 7,246.96ha back in 1927.
To date, only 957.6ha of the green lung is left with 931.17ha of it endangered by the state government's degazettement proposal.