LENGGONG: A total of 3,000ha of forest reserves in Perak were found to have been illegally cleared to date, says Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad.
He said the issue was being addressed through the state Forestry Department, with five cases brought to court and several others currently under investigation.
“Some people have been extracting timber illegally from the forest and selling them.
“Others have been cultivating crops on the land. This is illegal deforestation.
“We urge all of them to stop the activities immediately because we have a specific law for timber extraction.
“If logging activities are not controlled, it will cause mud floods, ” he said after officiating the Greening Malaysia Programme: Tasik Raban Lenggong in conjunction with the Perak-level 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign at Dataran Tasik Raban, about 60km from Ipoh, yesterday.
Also present was Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.
Saarani said a special committee was formed to deal with the issue and the state Forestry Department had identified those behind the illegal deforestation.
Earlier in his speech, Saarani said Perak has planted 100,000 trees since early January, and would intensify its efforts to encourage people’s participation in the campaign so as to achieve the state’s target of planting 10 million trees by 2025.
“I’m confident that we can achieve the target (of planting 100 million trees nationwide by 2025) based on our achievement so far. We hope various quarters will volunteer to take part in the programme together with government-linked companies and corporate bodies, ” he said.
Earlier, Saarani and Shamsul Anuar planted several trees that are synonymous with Perak, such as the Ipoh, Beruas, Kangsar and Sungkai trees at the Tasik Raban area.
On Jan 5, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign 2021-25 with the theme “Greening Malaysia: Our Trees, Our Life” in a campaign that was also launched simultaneously at the state level by the respective mentris besar and chief ministers. — Bernama