By Afix Redzuan
SHAH ALAM, Feb 20 — The recent plans to degazette the 930 hectares (2,300 acres) Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is still at the proposal stage and it is open to objection until March 5, says Selangor Menteri Besar.
Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said stakeholders should have voiced their objections during the month-long period to the Selangor State Forestry Department and not by stirring controversy on social media.
The department had on February 5 placed a notice in major newspapers inviting the public in the district to voice their objections to the proposal within 30 days.
He said the state government has listed four proposed areas as a replacement and to retain the 30 per cent forest reserve in Selangor.
“We are in the second phase of degazetting the forest reserve, which is preparing the copy of the area plan and a written report to distribute to the public as well as the publication of public inquiry notice.
“Selangor is the only state that had initiated a pubic hearing on gazetting and degazetting foreset reserve since 2014,” he said at a press conference at the Bilik Gerakan Negeri at the Selangor State Secretariat (SUK), here today.
Amirudin said the proposed replacement areas are in two locations in Sungai Panjang under the Sabak Bernam district, Kuala Selangor and Ampang.
He said the replacement of over 120 to 169 hectares of land would connect with the Raja Muda Musa forest reserve.
“Combining the lands would make Selangor as a state with the largest peatland forests in the peninsula and the second or third largest in Malaysia,” he said.
Amirudin said 40 per cent of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve has become hutan rosot (degraded forests) due to forest fires and encroachment.
He added that the area would also be developed accordingly and would benefit others as well as the planned East Coast Rail (ECRL) project alignment will go around the forest reserve.