Despite claims of illegal logging that causes devastating floods in Malaysia, the Kelantan government said it will not stop logging activities in the state as they are carried out by the terms and conditions stipulated under the National Forestry Act 1984.
According to Bernama, Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said each state is given a quota by the National Forestry Council, and the logging activities in the state comply with the regulations.
He added that there is a condition that after trees are felled, reforestation must be carried out in the affected area. There is a also set age for trees before they had to be felled to avoid them falling onto and destroying other growth.
“For example, if the quota given for this year is 3,000ha, we should not exceed 3,000ha. Otherwise, we will be subject to action by the National Forestry Council. The quota is not determined by the state, but the National Forestry Council.”
“Logging provides revenue not only for Kelantan. In fact, almost all states depend on forest products, especially Pahang and Sarawak,” he told the media after Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob’s 2022 New Year message at the Kota Darulnaim Complex yesterday (6 January).
He said this when being asked on an online petition for a moratorium on logging and to preserve forests as a bulwark against floods, which has received nearly 200,000 signatures.
The petition, “Henti Pembalakan & Kemusnahan Alam Sekarang (Stop Logging and Destruction of Nature Now)”, was co-sponsored by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia and an environmental group, the Association for the Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia.
The group had called on the government to impose a moratorium on logging activities for the time being following the catastrophic floods.
Meanwhile, Amar also denied that logging was the main cause of floods in the state, as floods occur almost every year
He explained that no logging activities are allowed between October and December due to the monsoon season.
“Those swept away by the floods (during the monsoon season) may have been felled before that period and stored at the log storage area,” he said while urging the public to not blame logging activities alone as the cause of floods.