Preserve Kuala Langat North Forest reserve, minister tells Selangor

The Orang Asli were among those protesting against the proposed degazetting of the Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Utara forest reserve in Selangor.

KUANTAN: The Selangor government has been urged to preserve the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve to ensure environmental sustainability for the developed state, said Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

He said the forest reserve status should be preserved as this forest served as a conservation area for flora and fauna, as well as a water catchment area.

“Areas that have been gazetted (as forest reserves) should remain as such even though a state government may want to tap these to meet economic needs. We cannot avoid development but the future implications should be a priority,” he said.

Tuan Ibrahim was speaking after launching the Drainage and Irrigation Department’s Innovation Day 2020 celebration, which was also attended by its director-general, Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali, and state director Mohd Noor Bidi.

He was responding to the Selangor government’s action of holding a public hearing session last Tuesday for the proposed abolition of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve, Tanjung Dua Belas sub-district, Kuala Langat, involving an area of about 1,971ha, which was opposed by many parties.

On another development, Tuan Ibrahim is optimistic that the river conservation projects to reduce flood risks nationwide under the additional allocation of RM66 million can be completed before the monsoon season starts at the end of this year.

He said a project had begun in Kelantan last Sunday and was expected to be completed in a month.

Meanwhile, Hisham said several flood-mitigation projects (RTB) had been stalled due to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) but the contractors were now given an extension of three months..

“Although the construction work can resume now, we hope the current Covid-19 outbreak will not be worse so that these projects can continue until completion.

“In Pahang, the Cameron Highlands RTB was completed in September while two more projects in Sungai Belat in Kuantan and Bandar Pekan are expected to be completed next year,” he added.