S’gor to reverse forest move

Green lung: The Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is estimated to be some 8,000 years old and comprises mostly of peat swamp forest.

KLANG: The Selangor government will reverse the degazettement order on the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR), says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said plans for development in the area will also be scrapped.

The decision was made at the state executive council meeting, he said in a statement last night.

Hence, he said, land at the location will also not be given to Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd for mixed development as initially planned.

“However, a small parcel of the KLNFR land will remain under degazettement,” Amirudin said.

The Mentri Besar also revealed that 104 acres (42ha) from the total 1,326 acres (534ha) will remain under degazettement to be given to Kampung Orang Asli Busut Baru, which has been pending since 2006.

“They (the villagers) were moved from their original settlement in 1994 for the construction of KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport),” he said.

The state government, he added, will also consider leaving another small parcel of the land under degazettement for consideration for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

Amirudin said the current status of the proposed 1,436 acres (581ha) replacement that was gazetted as forest reserve land in Sungai Panjang, Ampang Pechah and Bukit Broga will be retained as permanent forest reserves.

“The state government would like to stress that the degazettement had followed all legal procedures,” he said.

He also noted that as a state government that emphasises accountability, it will write to its Speaker for the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) to hold a hearing to answer issues that may arise on the degazettement.

The proposed degazettement recently drew severe criticism against Amirudin and the state government from various parties.

Elected representatives from both sides of the divide condemned the degazettement.

Amirudin’s party PKR also summoned him to give an explanation on the move.

The Mentri Besar met party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to discuss the issue thoroughly.

Last week, Amirudin met the chiefs of the state’s ruling Pakatan Harapan partners, Selangor DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo and Parti Amanah Negara’s Izham Hashim.

It was at this meeting that the three leaders collectively decided that matters regarding the degazettement must be brought to the executive council meeting for decision.

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