ALOR SETAR: The Federal Govern-ment should pay Kedah RM100mil annually if it does not want the state to conduct any logging activity, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak.
He claimed there was a verbal agreement over the payment between the two parties when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Prime Minister.
He said that during Dr Maha- thir’s era, the Federal Government agreed to pay RM100mil to the state because Kedah provided water for agriculture and gave water to Penang, too.
However, the amount was reduced to RM60mil during Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s era and former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid did not push for the payment.
“Barisan Nasional is making a lot of noise about the state’s log- ging activities.
“If the Federal Government does not want us to log, it should then pay us the agreed amount,” Azizan said after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.
Azizan said that under the National Land Code, the state government was allowed to log 2,400ha of land annually and the state had abided by the ruling.
“We did not log in any water catchment area. The 400ha land cleared for an agro-tourism project in Charok Batang Padi, Pedu, will not damage the nearby Pedu Lake.”
He accused Barisan of using the logging activities in Pedu as a political weapon to attack the PAS-led state government as they could not find any other issue to be politicised.
On a different issue, Azizan said all 10 state executive council members would take the oath of office for a new term next Sunday before their full term ends on Feb 28.
He said he would meet Kedah Council of Regency chairman Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah to discuss the matter.
“Even if Parliament is dissolved after the swearing-in ceremony, we still need to renew the oath since the state needs a caretaker government,” said Azizan. “The state will, however, wait for Parliament to be dissolved before calling for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly.”
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