IPOH: Perak Forestry Department will launch an immediate investigation into claims of rampant illegal logging and tree felling activities near Temenggor Dam and Orang Asli settlement's Pos Kemar in Gerik.
Its director Datuk Mohamed Zin Yusop said the department will be conducting its own checks on the matter after Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu's revelation of the incident yesterday.
It was reported that Ahmad Faizal, who conducted a spot check at the area recently, was angry and disappointed that the illegal activities were allowed to go on at the area.
He told Perak FM that during the half an hour boat ride, he had witnessed for himself the rampant tree felling activities at the area.
He claimed that even the 5km buffer zone near the dam was not spared.
"There aren't supposed to be any logging activity there, but it can be clearly seen. I even spotted some new areas," he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, for the record, Mohamed said logging was allowed to commence at some of the areas on government-owned land near Pos Kemar, spanning an area of 1,900 hectares.
"The objective was to clear the land for rubber trees and most of the works there have been completed. So far, only one area is left and tree felling activity was still ongoing,"
"Logging activity there was halted for some time but resumed recently when the licence was renewed on Aug 15." he said when contacted.
He said there was some protest recently and a stop work order has been issued for the time being.
Mohamed said a meeting has also been held with Perak Orang Asli Development Department director Harulnizam Abd Rahman to discuss the rubber plantation plan on July 18 this year.
"However, the department will be going to the ground to determine if illegal logging activities were happening at the area." he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd