PUTRAJAYA, Sept 2 — The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) did not agree from the onset with the proposal by the Selangor government to degazette the Kuala Langat Utara Forest Reserve (HSKLU), said its minister, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
He said that as a ministry responsible for the management of the country’s natural resources, it takes seriously the move which would result in the loss of part of the 957.63ha forest.
“The ministry, relevant departments and agencies also submitted formal objections to the Selangor government in 2020 concerning the degazettment of the Kuala Langat Utara Forest Reserve,” he said in a statement today with regards to media reports that the move was aimed at development.
State tourism, environment, green technology and Orang Asli affairs committee chairman, Hee Loy Sian, was reported to have said at the Selangor legislative assembly sitting on August 30 that about 536.7ha of the HSKLU has been approved for degazettement under Section 12 of Selangor’s National Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985.
He said that the decision was made in May via a state executive council meeting (MMKN), and that the area was less than 45 per cent of the 991.90ha initially proposed.
Takiyuddin hopes the state government will develop the degazetted area responsibly, while ensuring sustainable practices, a buffer zone and adherence to all the environmental impact assessment (EIA) conditions.
“This is to make sure future development does not affect the neighbouring forest and ecosystem, as well as the local community, particularly the Orang Asli,” he said.
He said that KeTSA has also taken note of a 579.64ha permanent forest reserve offered as replacement encompassing the Sungai Panjang Forest Reserve (308.62ha), Buloh Telor Barat Forest Reserve (149.96ha), Buloh Telor Timur Forest Reserve (57.18ha) and Broga Forest Reserve (63.88ha).
“This ministry is recommending that the area given as replacement continues to be protected to guarantee the conservation of Selangor’s forests,” said Takiyuddin, while adding that Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM) data showed that Selangor’s forested area totalled 31.74 per cent in 2019. — Bernama