Land clearing threatens orang asli’s existence

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Oct 2018

GUA MUSANG: Orang asli are living in constant fear of landslide and mudslide following massive deforestation activities and changing weather pattern.

Johan Angah said the fear of getting buried alive was real as logging, mining and massive land clearing activities continued to disturb the balance of nature.

“It is scary to see boulders rolling down the slopes, mud flowing like water and earth engulfing our homes.

“We are also living in fear of being attacked by displaced wild animals as jungles are being destroyed for the benefit of a handful of parties,” he said.

“Such scary episodes would not recur if the people learn to respect Mother Nature and stop destroying the environment.”

Angah questioned if the authorities diligently monitor land clearing, logging and mining activities deep in the jungles to ensure all rules and regulations were abided.

“We see rivers shrinking and disappearing over the years. We see the jungles becoming bald.

“Instead of rehabilitating jungles after selective logging, we see them clearing large parcels of forests to make way for plantations,” he said.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan chief Mustafa Along said it was high time the authorities took serious action to protect the environment.

“Clearing large chunks of the forest is not sustainable.

“There are no laws to compel loggers, miners, plantation operators and companies to bear the cost of damages caused by their activities.

“So why allow a small group to make a fortune by destroying the environment but the masses to suffer from massive floods, landslides and mudslides?” he said.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Department, Geosains Malaysia, Drainage and Irrigation Department as well as the Geological Department have carried out ground visits to conduct soil checks in landslide-prone areas at Canada Hill in Miri.

Parts of the hill slopes and roads that had cracked up due to recent spates of erosion had been repaired ahead of the year-end monsoon.

Miri Mayor Adam Yii said repair works were done to stabilise the slopes.

The Star also did ground checks and saw the erosion-prone slopes reinforced by concrete.

The torrential downpour early this year saw Kg Lereng Bukit, Kg Pujut Tanjong Batu and other places hit by erosion, floods and mudflows.

Canada Hill overlooking Miri city is the site of Malaysia’s first inland oil well.

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