KUALA LUMPUR, DEC 31 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should have referred to the Kelantan government first before attributing floods in the state to uncontrolled logging. Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said logging carried out in the east coast state was done according to the yearly allocation of 5,960ha approved by the National Land Council.
He added that forest management in Kelantan was certified by international independent organisations. An environmental impact assessment had to be conducted before any land clearing operation commenced. “Unmanaged logging was probably due to illegal land clearing conducted by irresponsible individuals.
The state government will carry out stricter and more effective enforcement to stop it. “It is important to note that the floods could have been caused by several other factors such as the heavy rain phenomenon, as reported by the Meteorological Department. “This is also taking place in almost all states in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
According to Ahmad, the Kelantan government was now undertaking work to restore and redevelop areas affected by the massive floods which had seen over 235,000 forced to leave their homes nationwide. He said that looking at the situation in severely-hit areas, including Kuala Krai, the state realised the need for support and assistance, especially from the federal government.
“This disaster must serve as a lesson and a blessing to strengthen the faith of the Muslims.” He thanked individual parties, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and also the private sector which had continuously provided necessary supplies for the state’s flood victims.