IPOH: A notice of permit given to a company for 400ha of forest plantation development projects has led several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) here.
The state government - through a Forest Resources Committee meeting held in November last year - approved the permit, dated Dec 14, 2018 - for a forest plantation development project at Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve and Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve in the Kinta Manjung district.
Kampar MP Thomas Su, who was with the NGOs, said the permit was granted to a company that was established in July, 2018.
"We had farmers who were stopped from carrying out small-scale farming at state owned land.
“Most of them are second or third generations farmers,” he told reporters when met at the state MACC headquarters here on Monday (Feb 11).
“How did a five-month-old company without any record or profile received a permit for 400ha of land to carry out forest plantation?" he asked.
Su said the state government must clarify the status of the land.
"The company was established a few months after the last election.
“We want to know when did they apply for the tender," he said.
Also present was representative of Persatuan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) Naoami Chelliah.
It was reported that some 10ha of land near Kledang Saiong was cleared illegally to plant oil palm trees.
On Feb 10, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he was not aware of the status of the permit and planned to check with the Land and Mines Office and the Forestry Office over the matter.
The permit was addressed to a company in Taiping. However, upon further investigation, the address belongs to a law firm.
An unnamed source revealed one of the company directors had previously held a position in a government-linked company related to the timber industry.