Malaysia Dateline

Logging activity

Kelantan forest losses alarming, Husam calls for royal probe

Kelantan’s Salor assemblyman Datuk Husam Musa has called for a royal commission of inquiry to investigate the state’s fast dwindling forest reserves.

The former senior Kelantan exco member, recently sacked by PAS for his criticism of the party’s top leadership, said the problem of deforestation was more serious than illegal logging.

“Illegal logging or timber theft decreases revenue and undermines the state administration, but the loss of forests will affect the ecosystem and weather patterns with catastrophic consequences,” Husam told a programme in Bachok last night.

He said the current state government’s trend of approving logging concessions and allowing forest lands to be used for commercial agriculture would wipe out forest reserves in Kelantan.

“I have detailed information about the increasing number of approvals for logging in forest reserves in the post-Tok Guru period,” he said, referring to the late menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Husam said logging licences were given to the same players, adding that he had received shocking information about the PAS-led government’s management of natural resources.

He said commercial plantation activities approved on previously logged forest lands had resulted in large areas of forests completely destroyed, leading to fears of flooding as well as drought.

“If you look down from aboard an AirAsia flight during the day, you will see so many areas left completely plain,” said Husam.

“I urge everyone to act immediately if we don’t want our children to be victims of this worldly greed without any regard for God’s wrath.”