MALAYSIA: FORESTRY-RELATED ACTS TO BE AMENDED TO CURB ILLEGAL LOGGING

Several logging and forestry-related laws will be amended to curb illegal logging activities in the country.

Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister Dr Ir Hamim Samuri told the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) that the laws needed to be refined to detail the provisions on enforcement action which fell under the jurisdiction of the state government and in the joint-list between the federal and state governments under the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

He said the laws had to be amended to meet current changes.

Although we have the relevant acts, but the power (enforcement) is still at state level, except the Environmental Quality Act 1974, it is under the joint list where we can impose rules or laws to ensure environmental sustainability.

Even then it still need to be amended, he said when winding up the 2018 Supply Bill for the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry at the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) here yesterday.

Earlier, several members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition proposed to the government to find ways to curb illegal logging activities that were seen to be widespread.

Abdul Rahman Mohamad (BN-Lipis) raised the issue on logging in Merapoh, Pahang, which he claimed had exceeded the permissible area of 100 acres.

He said the Merapoh forest, which trees reaching hundreds of millions of years,as well as limestone caves and flora, was a world heritage treasure.

The government should stop the logging activities first before making amendments to the existing laws, he said.

Meanwhile, Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan) said the directive from the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dr Wan Junaidi Tengku Jaafar on a moratorium order to control bauxite mining indicated that the federal government had the power to stop any activity seen to be causing damages to the environment and community in the surrounding areas.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK