News: Thousands Sign Petition to Protect Bukit Lagong Forest

Dec 13, 2018


The Selangor state government should reject a proposal by a property developer to degazette a 28.3ha portion of the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve to make way for a residential project, according to a petition signed by over 8,000 people.

The Star reported that the petition to Save Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve was launched on a week ago. It is addressed to Forestry Department Director Datuk Dr Mohd Puat Dahalan and Selangor Chief Minister Amirudin Shari.

“There is currently a housing glut, but a dire shortage of natural reserves required for sustaining air quality, water supply and other basic physical needs in Selangor,” the petition stated.

“The Pakatan Rakyat state government promised in 2008 to get tough on deforestation and to protect Selangor’s last remaining natural reserves. This finally gave us citizens hope that our forest reserves would at last be given the protection they deserve, after years of active destruction by state governments across Malaysia.”

Hence, the petition’s proponents and signatories are urging the state authorities, including the Forestry Department, to immediately and irrevocably scrap the proposed housing project.

“Development is inevitable with human population growth. But if we neglect our role to protect the environment now, there will be a time we can no longer say ‘stop’ and ‘no more’ as there will be nothing left to protect,” said Shahlinney Lipeh, one of the signatories.

Another signatory by the name of Nurhafizah Ghazali commented: “I support development but I believe we should respect forest reserves. Hopefully other better housing development areas are considered before sacrificing the forest reserve.”

Earlier this month, The Star reported that the Selangor Forestry Department posted a notice in major dailies on 23 November asking the public in Gombak to give their feedback on the proposed degazettement within 30 days.

The public consultation is in accordance with the Public Inquiry (Selangor) Rules of 2014 and the National Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment of 1985, which require the authorities to hold a public hearing before forest reserve land can be degazetted.

Among those opposed to the degazettement are environmental groups such as Malaysian Nature Society, Global Environment Centre and Treat Every Environment Special (Trees).


Image source: The Star


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