NGOs Withdraw Application To Suspend Construction Work At Ampang Forest Reserve

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 21 – Construction work and logging at the Ampang Forest Reserve for the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) linking Bandar Sungai Long and Ukay Perdana can now proceed. This followed a decision by three environmental organisations in withdrawing their application for a suspension order on the expressway project.

Selangor Assistant Legal Adviser Naziah Mokhtar said the three organisations, through their lawyer, M. Karthini, withdrew their application for a permanent suspension order, which had been fixed for hearing yesterday. However, she said, no reason was given by Karthini, who informed the court on the decision by her clients to withdraw the permanent stop-work order application during case management of their judicial review application at the High Court today.

Naziah said judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah set Oct 10 to hear the application for the judicial review. The three organisations had obtained a temporary suspension order to stop or stay any construction work and logging in the Ampang Forest Reserve from the High Court last May 11.

In their judicial review application, the three organisations – Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Treat Every Environment Special Sdn Bhd and the Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (PEKA) – had sought a certiorari order to cancel the decision of the Forestry Department to close the forest reserve, which is the main access for the public to get into the forest reserve to give way for construction work on the EKVE.

They are also seeking a declaration that approval, permit and licence given by the three respondents for logging and construction for the EKVE project located in Ampang Forest Reserve be cancelled as it was illegal and against the law. The organisations named the Selangor government, Selangor Forestry Department and Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) as the respondents.

They claimed the Ampang Forest reserve was still gazetted as a permanent forest reserve and felling of trees and logging was against the law. They said any development activities would also affect the water supply for the people in the area as well as threaten the biological diversity and ecosystem. — Bernama

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