Wednesday, September 22, 2021

VELL-y FIRE-y Chunky Chubby Cherubic C11bye Fei-Lo will continue logging in Ulu Muda

Ending Ulu Muda logging now will economically hit Kedah: Sanusi

State currently outlining high-impact projects, new townships to increase other revenue sources, says MB

Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor says the Kedah state government’s decision to continue logging activities is subject to a number of conditions set by the National Land Council. – Kedah Menteri Besar’s Office pic, September 22, 2021

ALOR STAR – An end to logging activities in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve in Kedah will only affect the state government’s revenue, Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor cautioned the state assembly today.

In this regard, Sanusi (Jeneri-PAS) said that the current state government has only allowed logging projects whose logging licenses were issued under the previous administration.

He said currently there is a total area of 25,000ha for which logging has been approved in Ulu Muda.

These permits were issued from 2014 to 2020 before he took over the administration of Kedah with the new Perikatan Nasional government.

“If the state government stops these logging activities, it will have legal implications for us, in the sense that we will have to pay a premium (to affected logging companies) or face court action.

“In addition, in economic terms, the cessation of logging in Ulu Muda also causes a reduction in areas open for logging, indirectly resulting in a reduction in state government revenue,” he said.

Sanusi said this in answering an oral question from his immediate predecessor in the menteri besar’s seat, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (Jitra-Pejuang), who asked what the state government’s rationale is for continuing logging activities in Ulu Muda.

Mukhriz also asked if it proved that the state government had no other source of income.

Sanusi added the state government’s decision to continue logging activities is subject to a number of conditions set by the National Land Council.

He said the council has set only 4,200ha of the forest reserve to be cut down a year, based on the annual felling ration it has designated.

“However, the total area for logging activities throughout Kedah that had been approved previously was 75,000ha, including in Ulu Muda, which is as much as 25,000ha.

“The approved period for logging all these will only end in another 18 years,” he said.

Sanusi stressed that logging activities in Ulu Muda are carried out with environmentally friendly methods, namely the log fisher technique, and the setting of a 40m waterway buffer zone, from the previous 20m.

He said the state government is currently outlining various initiatives in the Kedah Development Plan 2035 such as the development of high-impact projects and new townships.

“This will contribute to the increase in revenue for the state government and local authorities respectively, through the collection of land taxes and gate taxes, with the existence of new industrial areas and townships in Kedah without relying on revenue from logging activities anymore,” he said.

The Penang government has been asking for logging around Ulu Muda to be stopped as it is a prime water catchment area for states in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) CEO Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa had stressed that the 25,000ha of Ulu Muda’s rainforest earmarked for clearing is almost equivalent to the size of Penang island.

At present, about 70% of Perlis’ raw water and 96% of Kedah’s raw water originate from Ulu Muda.

PBAPP sources more than 80% of the daily raw water that Penang needs from Sg Muda.

Cutting down the rainforest areas may cause Sg Muda and the Muda Dam to “dry up” during prolonged dry seasons, Jaseni warned.

In May, PBAPP had expressed support for the establishment of the Muda River Basin Authority proposed by the Environment and Water Ministry. – The Vibes, September 22, 2021

1 comment:

  1. You can bet more "Acts of God" disasters will arise from these Actions of greedy men.