GEORGE TOWN: Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah has admitted that the Kedah government approved the large-scale Musang King plantation at Gunung Inas during his time as mentri besar.
Ahmad Bashah said, however, the approval was meant to ensure that the area was not for logging and would be conserved through replanting to prevent deforestation.
"When I was mentri besar, a local company bought a firm that was given the approval to manage Gunung Inas by the previous state government before me.
"At that time, the company’s proposal was to convert the area to a large-scale Musang King durian plantation and not for logging at all," he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 19).
He said during his time, there were already logging activities in the area, which was a continuation of activities proposed by other companies responsible to manage the area.
He said the focus of the state government under his leadership at that time was to make sure the area was conserved and rehabilitated after deforestation.
Last week, another former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said during Ahmad Bashah's term as MB, Musang King durians were planted in the area.
Ahmad Bashah was mentri besar from 2016 to 2018 before Mukhriz took over after the 14th General Election.
Ahmad Bashah said the state government approval was meant to protect the area and at the same time, reap benefits from the project.
"What was important for the government at that time was that the issues at Gunung Inas could be solved as soon as possible," he said.