Don’t log off our source of water

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) would like to commend the CEO of Perbadanan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP), Dato’ Ir. Jaseni Maidinsa, for the statement he made appealing to the federal government to stop the Kedah state government from allowing logging in the Ulu Muda Forest.

He has clearly stated the facts in regards to how logging in the Ulu Muda Forest will negatively affect the function of the Ulu Muda River as a raw water source for the states of Penang, Kedah and Perlis, jeopardising the water supply to 4.2 million people. We encourage those who have not read the statement to do so; the public needs to understand how and why logging in the Ulu Muda Forest will affect them.

It has become glaringly obvious that global warming has caused our dry seasons to be quite drastic and this in turn has affected the water level of our man-made dams. For instance on 24 August 2020 it was reported that the water in the Teluk Bahang Dam would only last for an estimate of 52 days because of low rainfall. Furthermore, despite the heavy rainfall Penang has been having, last week the PBAPP CEO stated that the Teluk Bahang Dam is still only at an effective capacity of 22.6% which is “abnormally low”. This alone is evidence as to why natural water catchment areas are vital and should be preserved at all cost.

CAP would also like to point out that in Dato’ Jaseni’s statement he highlighted that the logging done in the Ulu Muda Forest will inevitably cause pollution in the Ulu Muda River. We need to keep in mind the two cases of water pollution recently in the Selangor state that caused many households to be without water for many days. We cannot afford the same thing to happen to the Ulu Muda River and have it affect the 4.2 million people across the 3 states.

As such, we echo his call to the federal government to put a stop to the Kedah state governments logging plans for the Ulu Muda forest.


Letter to the Editor, 14 October 2020