SEREMBAN: The Negri Sembilan government has denied talk that it is in the midst of approving an application for logging at the Kenaboi Forest Reserve in Jelebu, near here.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said he did not receive any application from any individual or company on this and reminded the people to be wary of such allegations being spread on social media.
"In fact, someone recently showed me the picture of a sign put up at an unknown location stating that a logging concession has been awarded to an individual with a so-called royal title in Negri Sembilan.
"The purported owner of the particular logging area is named as one Yam Tuan Muda Rembau Tampin.
"We do not have an individual carrying such a title in the state," he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting on Wednesday (Sept 22).
Aminuddin said the picture, which has since gone viral, does not carry details of the so-called concession.
"It is not easy to change the status of a permanent forest reserve as there are many processes involved.
"But I can confirm that there is no such application before us," he said, adding that the authorities will continue to monitor any encroachment into these protected areas.
He also expressed hope that the police will probe those behind such slander.
On a separate matter, Aminuddin said Negri Sembilan is set to become a major producer of the jade perch fish following the signing of a joint venture agreement between Narque N9 Aquaculture Sdn Bhd (NNASB) and the Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Incorporation (MBINS).
He said the project, to be carried out on a 22ha land owned by MBINS in Jelebu, will start next month.
"The joint venture involving an investment of RM1bil over the next 15 years will be the biggest in South-East Asia.
"Several government departments and agencies as well as Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) will be involved in areas such as research and development," he said, adding that the fish species originated from Queensland, Australia.
Aminuddin said studies by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has also shown that the jade perch has the highest amount of Omega-3 compared to other marine life.
"In fact, research by UKM has also revealed that the jade perch produced by NNASB has 6% more Omega-3 compared to the ones harvested in Australia," he said, adding that the company had started a similar project albeit on a lower scale here in 2016.
The Mentri Besar said based on present market rates, the jade perch costs between RM70 and RM80 a kilogramme.