KOTA BARU: In a move to raise revenue, Kelantan will approach the Federal Government for approval to extract logs from areas more than 1,000m above sea level.
State Financial, Public Administration and Community Development Committee chairman Husam Musa said the state government had to find resources for the betterment of the people.
At this moment, the state has no immediate resources and one of the fastest way to help the people is to use the forest resources.
Rather than leave the trees to rot, it is better to take the timber and use the money to feed the people, he said after the state exco meeting here on Wednesday.
Husam also said the government was considering two options helicopter logging and a system similar to a cable car for transporting logs to collection centres.
We have engaged consultants to make an in-depth study on both options because we need to find a system that is cost-effective and will, at the same time, preserve the environment, he added.
On Sept 29, Husam said the state had identified at least 33,600ha of forest reserves in Gua Musang and Jeli belonging to a state investment agency, Kompleks Perkayuan Kelantan, which were situated 1,000m above sea level and had timber resources worth RM2bil.
However, in a statement on Monday, Natural Resources and Environment parliamentary secretary Sazmi Meah accused Kelantan of being irresponsible and greedy.
Sazmi also claimed that the PAS government was so desperate for funds that it was willing to flout National Forestry Council guidelines by logging in areas above the 1,000m mark.
Husam said Sazmis statement was unfair as other states like Pahang and Sabah were logging in such sensitive areas.