15 February 2019
Timber board denies role in development project in forest reserves
IPOH, Feb 15 — The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has denied it is involved in a 400-hectare forest farm development project at Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta Forest Reserves.
Its chairman Wong Tack said the approval was given by the Perak state government and not by MTIB nor its subsidiary Forest Plantation Development Sdn Bhd (FFDSB).
“The management of the company (which obtained the concession) has no ties with MTIB and to date, it has yet to contact MTIB on its plans to cooperate on forest farming,” he said.
In a statement here today, Wong said to apply for loans under MTIB, companies or government agencies must follow strict rules.
“The development must be conducted on state or private land and not in forest reserves unless it is alloted for forest farming for Peninsular Malaysia, Licensed for Planted (LPF) in Sarawak and areas zone as Industrial Tree Plantation in Sabah,” he added.
Wong said companies and government agencies which applied for the development also need to fulfil technical requirements such as environment impact assessment, forest management plan, environment management plan, and wildlife management plan.
“The areas for farming must not be in the Central Forest Spine in Peninsular and heart of Borneo in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
“As such, MTIB and FFDSB deny that there is an agreement between MTIB and the company,” he added.
Malay Mail previously reported Mentri Besar Datuk Sri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as saying that the company which had applied for the forest farming development had been screened by the Forestry Department.
Ahmad Faizal said the company would be cooperating with MTIB to develop the 400ha of land, which was identified as secondary forest.
11 February 2019
2 ‘Datuks’ behind RM2 firm allegedly awarded Perak forestry deal
PETALING JAYA: Two men with a “Datuk” title are the directors of a RM2 company allegedly awarded a project to develop 400ha of forest reserves in Perak.
This was revealed in checks by FMT on the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) documents after a DAP MP lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the matter.
Earlier today, Kampar MP Thomas Su told FMT that the state government should clarify a letter which went viral recently.
Su said that according to the letter, the company was awarded the concession by the Perak Forest Resources Committee in December.
This was a mere five months after it was formed with a paid-up capital of only RM2 following the 14th general election, he said.
The company’s concession is allegedly for the development of 400ha of forests for plantations in the Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta reserves.
“How is it that this RM2 company can receive this concession for 50 years?” Su asked, adding that the letter did not go into detail about what the company is allowed to do in its development.
“The menteri besar (Ahmad Faizal Azumu) was asked about this and he said he needs time to verify it, that is why I want MACC to investigate.”
Bernama had reported Faizal as saying that he needed to check the veracity of the letter issued by the Perak Forestry Department.
FMT has also contacted Faizal for comment and is awaiting a response.
Su said that before lodging the report, one of his officers had sought answers from the department but was unsuccessful.
It was learnt that the company was set up on July 26, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur although its business address is in Taiping.
According to the SSM documents, the company’s nature of business is “growing of plants for planting, commodity brokers and dealers, and wholesale of a variety of goods without any particular specialisation”.
A source told FMT that a state executive councillor from a Pakatan Harapan coalition party was allegedly involved in the deal to award the concession.
DAP MP: Why was Perak forest reserve given to company formed just after GE14?
IPOH, Feb 11 — The Perak government must explain the reason why it awarded a 400-hectare land concession to a newly-formed private company with a paid-up capital of just RM2, DAP’s Thomas Su said today.
The private company is understood to have been awarded concession of two forest reserves, namely Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta.
The Kampar MP questioned how a company with a paid up capital of RM2 could be given a 400-hectare concession just approximately five months after it was set up.
“The company was established on July 26 after the 14th general election and it was given a total of 400 hectare land for forest farm development (pembangunan ladang hutan) on December 14 at Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta Forest Reserve,” he said today after lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the matter.
Su said he was tipped off on the matter after the approval letter from the Perak Forestry Department became viral on social media.
“This is wrong as the Mentri Besar had said the Pakatan Harapan government would suspend all logging activities but now this is happening,” he said, questioning how a five-month-old company with no profile record obtain 400 hectare land in the forest.
“We want to know why the company was chosen and why not other companies,” he added, noting that if forest reserves are constantly being degazetted, Perak would end up with no more forest reserves.
Su also said after the approval letter became viral online, he received calls from farmers in his constituency who had been working on state land.
“They have been working on the land for generations and applications for land being rejected but a five-month-old company can easily obtain land,” he said.
As the new government, Su said the Perak Pakatan Harapan government should not follow the Barisan Nasional practice of giving out land indiscriminately.
“Even if it was degazetted during BN time, the current government can gazette it back,” he said, urging the Mentri Besar to cancel the approval immediately.
6 February 2019
Regardless of threats or no threats, the point is, the PH govt is supposed to protect the rights of the Orang Asli rather than timber tycoons, the PH govt is supposed to be different in #MalaysiaBaharu
Police, Perak Forestry Dept deny Orang Asli threatened over blockade
Police and the Perak Forestry Department have denied claims that the Orang Asli community in Kampung Tasik Cunex, Gerik were threatened after setting up a blockade to fend of loggers.
Acting Perak police chief Razarudin Abd Husain @ Abd Rasid said that no threats were found to have been made after looking into reports lodged by both the Orang Asli and the logging company involved.
“I confirm that there is a report (by the Orang Asli), but there were no threats to kill them or harm them.
“(The loggers) said that if (the Orang Asli) did not let them through, they would find other options… maybe the Orang Asli believed this to means they would be killed,” he told Malaysiakini.
According to Razarudin, this other option meant the loggers would find different means to remove the felled trees.
It was reported earlier today that the Orang Asli from Kampung Tasik Cunex had set up blockades to prevent loggers from encroaching onto their customary land.
A police report lodged by a tok batin (village chief) claimed that the villagers were subsequently met with threats from the logging company and the Perak Forestry Department.
Razarudin said that the case will not be investigated further after taking a statement from the company, but added that police will ensure that the situation remains peaceful.
Separately, Perak Forest Department director Mohamed Zin Yusop also denied that any threats were made, saying that an officer had merely met with the villagers to brief them on nearby logging activities.
“We strongly deny allegations that there were any threats to the Kampung Tasik Cunex Orang Asli throughout the briefing session.
“Throughout dealing with the community’s rejections, the state Forestry Department has never made any threats or used force on anyone,” he said in a statement today.
However, Zin said the department was willing to cooperate with police in any investigations.
He added that the logging activities near Kampung Tasik Cunex do not encroach onto customary land, and that any trees felled were in accordance to “selective logging” procedures – where only trees that have been tagged are cut down.
Zin also refuted claims that logging in the area is uncontrolled, pointing out that it is in accordance with the annual National Land Council ration that allows for 7,744ha to be felled each year.
PETALING JAYA: The Orang Asli community in Grik today claimed that the Perak government has encroached onto their land to carry out logging, barely a month after Putrajaya sued the Kelantan government for a similar alleged infraction.
Villagers from Kampung Tasik Cunex Grik have set up a blockade to prevent lorries from ferrying felled timber from entering the area.
On Feb 1, they lodged a police report on the matter.
They also claim the logging company and the Perak Forestry Department are threatening them.
Villagers claim the logging company brought in some machinery on Dec 19 last year and damaged pipes that supplied water to some 50 villagers in the Tasik Cunex area.
In early January, they said, they complained to the state government and the menteri besar about the matter only for it to fall on deaf ears.
A representative of the community, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said when the illegal logging began, they ramped up their protest.
“We protested, and when we were ignored, we set up a blockade.
“On Jan 31, a spokesperson for the logging company and a representative of the Perak Forestry Department said they will not hesitate to employ rough tactics if we prevent them from logging,” the spokesperson told FMT.
Report: Orang Asli accuse Perak Harapan gov’t of logging native land
Malaysiakini | Published: Today 4:45 pm
The Orang Asli community in Gerik are reportedly at loggerheads with the Perak government, whom they accuse of encroaching onto their customary land for logging.
This comes amid a push by the Harapan federal government to sue the PAS-led Kelantan government for the same alleged transgression against the Orang Asli in Gua Musang.
A Feb 1 police report filed by Kampung Tasik Cunex tok batin (village chief) on the matter was revealed by Free Malaysia Today today. The tok batin‘s name was redacted.
According to the police report, logging activities were carried out without their knowledge or approval. When their protests allegedly went unheard, the community then set up blockades.
The tok batin claimed that on Jan 30, representatives of the logging company involved, as well as the Perak Forestry Department, had warned the villagers that the logging would continue and that those who resist would be dealt with by force.
FMT cited an Orang Asli representative who declined to be named as saying that a police report had also been filed earlier on Jan 27. The logging is allegedly taking place over 80ha, encompassing the customary land of the Kampung Tasik Cunex Orang Asli.
Malaysiakini is attempting to contact the Perak state government and Putrajaya for comment.
‘Don’t just sue Kelantan’
Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil…said the Harapan federal government should take action against the Perak government if the claims are true.
“Perak is under Harapan. Don’t just sue Kelantan. Sue Perak too, which is destroying the lives of Orang Asli there,” she was quoted as saying by FMT.
Peka is helping the Kampung Tasik Cunex Orang Asli obtain legal representation.
On Jan 18, it was announced that Putrajaya was initiating legal proceedings on behalf of the Gua Musang Orang Asli against the Kelantan state government.
Last month, the Pakatan Harapan government announced that it was initiating legal proceedings on behalf of the Gua Musang Orang Asli against the Kelantan government.