ATLANTA: Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo said he will quiz developers on how they were given approvals for projects around the Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam agricultural park in Shah Alam.
He wants to know how these developers obtained approvals when all local councils in the state were aware that development on slopes and hillsides were prohibited.
I hope they can explain this to me, he told Malaysian journalists here on Friday, warning that he would take stern action against those who destroyed the environment or infringed into forest reserves.
He was commenting on reports of massive development and clearing activities in the area, which prompted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad to call for appropriate measures to protect the ecological elements in the country.
I share the concern and disappointment expressed by the Prime Minister and the people of Selangor and promise stern action against those involved, he said.
The Mentri Besar had directed the Shah Alam City Council to set up a restoration fund for the park and said companies involved in the development in the area must contribute.
The fund would be used to rehabilitate the area, he said, adding that the state government would decide on the amount each company had to contribute, based on the damage done and the area the company developed.
Dr Khir said there had so far been no commercial development within the park and the forest reserve has not been encroached on by development.
The development that was taking place was outside the boundaries of the park that covered 1,258ha, he said.
Dr Khir said the state government planned to turn the park into the biggest botanical park in the world that would include many botanical and agricultural components besides being an agricultural research and development centre.
I pledge that there will be no development in the park and development around it will be controlled, said the Mentri Besar, who was part of the International Trade and Industry Ministrys delegation to a one-day seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia here.
He said the state government was fully committed to the agricultural park and this was evident by the gazetting of another 800ha for the park recently.
He said he would be holding a meeting next week with the relevant officials and departments for the report to be submitted to the Prime Minister.
Dr Khir also visited Pittsburgh where he signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Carnegie-Mellon University on short-term management courses for staff of state departments and local councils.
He left for home yesterday.