Kelantan’s Forestry Department director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah has claimed that logging is actually “beneficial for the tiger population”.
He said this at a press conference in Relai Forest Reserve, Gua Musang yesterday (23 January), according to Malaysiakini.
Khalim then said his claim was proven by studies as they found that logging will lead to growth of new plants and saplings, which will attract prey animals such as deer.
As such, the larger population of deer will mean more food for tigers, allowing the tiger population to grow as well.
He added that trees in forest reserves are huge and protected, and tigers have a more difficult time hunting its prey.
Khalim then refutes the claims of the widespread logging in Kelantan could lead to the extinction of tigers.
In addition, he said logging activities only happen in compliance with the annual felling ratio (CTT) of 3,900 hectares per year in specified production forest reserves, not protected forest reserves.
“In Kelantan, we have always complied with the CTT determined by the National Land Council (MTN). We do not exceed the logging ration allowed involving an area of 3,900 hectares per year as reported in the 12th Malaysia Plan.”
“In fact, logging is only done in production reserves, not protection reserves,” Khalim claimed.
Those remarks did not go well with Malaysians at large and many had criticised him making such outrageous comment. “Ok. Kelantan is crazy.” environmental group Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia (PEKA) said on Twitter.
“Wonder which is sadder, Zuraida statement on murderous orang utans or this.” another netizen commented.
The president of PEKA, Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil has also responded to Khalim’s comments and requested him to stop issuing any statements or risk becoming a laughing stock.
She said the logging activities had not only affected the tigers but also countless other wildlife, as well as the Orang Asli.
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