IPOH: The Perak and Pahang state governments should stop issuing new permits for agriculture or development in Cameron Highlands to prevent further landslides, says Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar.
The Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister said: “I really hope both states will also tighten enforcement on encroachment (into government or forest lands).
"Those found guilty of illegal farming must face the music.
“We need to use the full power of the law to make sure they stop such illegal activities,” he told reporters after Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah proclaimed Kinta Valley as a National Geopark in an event held in Gunung Lang, here.
Dr Xavier added that Sultan Nazrin had, during the event, directed the Perak state government to stop issuing any new (development) permits in areas under Perak leading to the hill station.
“Perak will definitely follow the directive by the Ruler, and I hope that Pahang will follow suit as well,” he added.
With the current monsoon season, several landslides have been reported in Cameron Highlands.
Just last week, three Myanmar nationals were buried alive after a landslide crashed down on their rumah kongsi (workers quarters) in Kuala Terla, in the highlands.
On the Geopark, Dr Xavier said the Kinta Valley consisted of about 1,952 sq km, covering both the Kinta and Kampar districts.
‘The ministry will work closely with the state government to ensure this heritage is well taken care.
“With it being declared as the National Geopark, we are hoping to get more tourists to visit the area,” he added.
He said more exhibitions and events must be held to tell the people about the Geopark which was not only limited to geology but also included heritage, biodiversity, archaeology, history, arts and culture.
“Enforcement and maintenance of the Geopark is also crucial,” he added.
Among those present at the event in Gunung Lang were Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, and State Tourism, Arts and Culture committee chairman Tan Kar Hing.