Saturday, November 15, 2014

Call on the federal government to set up an independent Committee to investigate actual reasons that have resulted in rampant illegal clearing as well as over development in Camerons Highlands

Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 15th November, 2014

Call on the federal government to set up an independent Committee to investigate actual reasons that have resulted in rampant illegal clearing as well as over development in Camerons Highlands

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Following the recent Ringlet mud flood incident which claimed 5 lives, massive illegal land clearing has been cited as one of the main causes of the floods and landslides in Camerons Highlands.

As always, the authorities will embark on serious actions after a serious tragedy.

On Nov 9, it was reported that Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gave a stern warinng to illegal immigrants who encroached and politicians who protected the encroachment activity in Cameron Highlands to the extent of causing muddy floods and landslides.

He said the government would launch an integrated operation involving several enforcement agencies to ensure that those culprits would be taken to justice.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that a committee jointly led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob will be established to propose a recovery plan for Cameron Highlands.

The decisions to carry out stern enforcement and to establish a recovery plan are welcomed, in fact necessary.

But the federal government must also find out the actual reasons why there have been such rampant illegal clearing as it is no secret that such activities did not just take place recently.

The MP for Cameron Highlands is none other than Datuk Palanivel, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

It will be quite unbelievable if he is not aware of the seriousness of illegal clearing issue in Camerons Highlands. If he has not seen the ravage done to the forests, he surely must have heard about the issue from the locals.

Last year to a question I posed to Datuk Palanivel in Parliament , he assured that his ministry is aggressively attending to the deforestation and clearing of vegetation especially on the hills which are the main causes of flooding and extra warmness in the Camerons. In the process the tourism industry has been affected badly.

So what has he done earlier on this serious issue?

Yesterday, the Prime Minister also said --"When there is no enforcement, then, we are not giving the right signal and nobody will be afraid of the law”.

The Cabinet must also show its seriousness by finding out the reasons why there have been such massive illegal land clearing and why there have been little or no effective enforcement.

Yesterday, the New Straits Times published an article titled “Yellow Letters: Bane of Camerons” (http://www.nst.com.my/node/52873 ) . This is a must read for the Cabinet.

How many more need to die before action is taken? We need proactive measures immediately.

Please safe the environment and the innocent lifes of those residing in Camerons. Otherwise the tourism industry is gone for good.

I call on the Federal government to set up an independent committee to find out the real reasons that have resulted in rampant illegal clearing as well as over development in Camerons Highlands.

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