LANGKAWI, May 29 – Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Sunday slammed Datuk Seri G. Palanivel for not doing anything about illegal land exploitation in Cameron Highlands when he was the minister in charge. He said the the MP for Cameron Highlands held the portfolio longer than him and should not make baseless allegations about the illegal activity.
“I am disappointed because Palanivel was Natural Resources and Environment Minister for two years. It has just been eight months since I succeeded him. Why didn’t he do anything (when he was the minister). Only now he is trying to act smart,” he told reporters here.
He said this in commenting on remarks by Palanivel on Friday that illegal land exploitation in Cameron Highlands was difficult to curb because it is masterminded by “influential individuals or groups”. He also added that if Palanivel has detailed information on the masterminds, write to him, let him know.
He noted that amendments to the National Land Code were passed by the Dewan Rakyat pertaining to the matter whereby offenders (who exploit land illegally) can be fined up to RM500,000. Wan Junaidi said the tabling of the amendments was an initiative by his ministry to tackle illegal land enroachment like what was happening in Cameron Highlands. He added that enforcement efforts also needed to stepped up to go after the culprits.