Perak MB defends logging activities, says state plays by the rules

Logs that have been cut waiting to be taken out from the jungle near Gerik.

PETALING JAYA: The Perak government today defended logging activities in the state in the wake of a dispute between the Orang Asli community in Gerik and a logging company as well as the state’s administration.

Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said if logging was stopped, it could lead to many losing their jobs.

“Those who are trying to put a stop to logging should put more thought into it (the consequences),” he told reporters after attending a Chinese New Year celebration in Ipoh today.

He was asked to comment on the blockade set up by the Orang Asli community following allegations that the state government had encroached into their lands.

The Pakatan Harapan-led administration has since denied the claim.

Faizal went on to state that the logging activities near the Orang Asli settlement at Kampung Tasik Cunex adhered to the annual cut ration (CTT) set by the National Land Council.

“The area where logging activities are being carried out have not been gazetted as ‘kawasan rayau’, which allowed the Orang Asli to farm, rear animals and grow crops.

“The area had been earmarked for logging.”

Yesterday, Jakoa, or the Department of Orang Asli Development, called for a suspension of all logging activities near the settlement.

Deputy National Unity and Social Well-being Minister Mohamed Farid Md Rafik, meanwhile was quoted as saying that logging activities had been suspended.

However, the Perak Forestry Department clarified today that it has not stopped a concessionaire from carrying out logging near the village, stating that it had not received any order to issue a stop-order notice, either from the state government or Putrajaya.