KOTA BARU: The PAS-led Kelantan government is not concerned about losing profits over the stop-work order on two logging companies in the Balah forest reserve, Gua Musang.
Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah (pix) said he was willing to meet the orang asli groups to discuss the matter and find an amicable solution to ease the tension between them and loggers.
"The orang asli groups met the Kelantan government together with their lawyer Siti Kasim and they asked us to allocate at least 22ha of virgin forest for every two orang asli families in the Balah forest reserve.
"The government is ‘tongue tied’ with such a proposal.
"The other proposals to gazette forest for orang asli are still being studied," he told reporters after launching the state-level Higher Learning Convention here on Tuesday.
He was commenting on the standoff between some 200 orang asli of the Temiar tribe and loggers at Pos Gob and Pos Temiar where a blockade has been set-up since last Monday.
The state government also ordered a temporary stop work order on two logging companies logging in a 239ha and 404ha virgin forest until further notice.
Mohd Amar said there was a misunderstanding between the orang asli and the loggers, leading to the confrontation.
"There is a solution to this dispute but the orang asli groups should not ask for the sun and moon as settlement to the dispute.
"I am willing to meet them as long as they have the sincere intention to end the blockade and not accuse the government as being cruel," he said.
He said despite losses suffered by the state government and the logging companies, the welfare of the orang asli was more important.
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