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MCA slams PAS over Kedah logging

 | November 19, 2012

The state government, as far as the MCA is concerned, has done nothing to stem what appears to be uncontrolled logging.

PETALING JAYA: The MCA today hit out at the PAS-led Kedah state government for not acting on uncontrolled logging in the state.

Gurun state assemblyman, Leong Yong Kong, said despite news report exposes on the matter in recent months, Kedah continues to allow forest reserve land to be cleared.

“The Kedah state government has not done anything about the situation despite the fact that the area logged is classified as a forest reserve,” he said.

Citing a Nov 19 NST report, Leong added that logging took place just 500 metres from the Pedu Dam water catchment area.

The report said that 13,325 hectares of land had been cleared under the state’s Ladang Rakyat rubber plantation programme.

According to the recent Auditor-General’s Report 2011, the state received RM74.92 million in “Forest Premium” tax revenue in 2011, a RM26.38 million increase from the previous year.

Possibility of landslides

The report said that most of this revenue came from rubber project areas worth RM30.84 million and “annual allowable logging” worth RM32.41 million.

At the same time, the state also earned RM4.12 million in 2011 (a 71.7% increase from 2010) from “Forest Material Production Royalties”, due to an increase in logging areas.

Leong attacked the state government for increasing its logging revenue at the expense of its water resources.

Calling it deforestation, he added that Kedah’s water supply was in danger of contamination, and warned of the possibility of landslides.

With the logging in mind, he mused what PAS might do if it was in control of the federal government.

“While PAS can go around bragging about how they will clean corruption, the voters should take note of the cleaning of trees in PAS’s own backyard,” he said.

Attempts to contact the Kedah state government were unsuccessful.


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