SHAH ALAM: The Selangor state government has agreed to degazette 536.7 hectares of the Kuala Langat Utara Forest Reserve for redevelopment, state executive councillor for environment Hee Loy Sian said.
He said the decision was made at the state executive council meeting on May 5 based on Section 12 of the National Forestry Act 1984.
“The decision was later confirmed in another meeting on May 19,” he said at the Selangor state assembly sitting today.
He explained that the total area earmarked for redevelopment was now 54% of the 931.16 hectares that had been mooted earlier, and had taken into account objections that had been raised following the initial proposal.
Hee added that 42.1 hectares out of the total area would be given to a private company, Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd, for mixed development.
The state government’s announcement came as a surprise to assemblymen, who demanded further clarification.
Elizabeth Wong (PH-Bukit Lanjan) questioned the legitimacy of the government’s decision to degazette the forest reserve land, stressing that development in the area would affect the biodiversity.
“The Kuala Langat Utara forest has endemic flora and fauna, for example the Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel and the Langat Red Fighting Fish, which clearly use the names ‘Selangor’ and ‘Langat’,” she said.
Rajiv Rishyakaran (PH-Bukit Gasing) questioned the rationale and benefits of the move.
“Why is the state government in a hurry to degazette this forest reserve? What are the rationale and strategic benefits to the entire six million people (in Selangor) when we degazette this forest?” he asked.