Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Kedah government to take immediate action to stop logging activities in Bukit Perangin, district of Kubang Pasu because it threatens the environment and affects the lives of residents living near the area.
In addition to polluting the river water which is used by more than 400 villagers for their daily use, paddy farmers in the area were also affected. Among the villages affected by this problem are Kampung Wang Perah, Kampung Bukit and Kampung Kubang Betong.
SAM is irked that although these adverse effects have occurred since 2013, and that the affected villagers have raised their objections several times but until now no action has been taken by the authorities to deal with the problem.
Commenting on the statement by the Deputy Director of the State Forestry Department of Kedah, Mohd Rahim Ramli (Sinar Harian report of May 8, 2017) that land in the Permanent Reserved Forest has been excised for the Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri about two years ago, SAM is of the opinion that this should not be made an excuse for the State government not to deal with the ensuing problem nor take measures to resolve the problems faced by the local communities here.
SAM was informed that the problem here started about four years ago and is worried that if left unsettled not only the environment will be adversely affected in the future, but the water supply for local consumption will run dry.
Other rivers in the Kubang Pasu district, such as Binjai, Temin, Hosba and Malau may become polluted and silted, whilst the irrigation and drainage system will become shallow.
Flash floods and prolonged dry weather can occur and cause damage. Crops such as fruits, rubber and rice cultivated by the residents here will also be threatened and subsequently the decline in production will affect the income of farmers and smallholders.
SAM therefore hopes that the government of Kedah, the relevant local authorities, departments and agencies will take full responsibility to assist the villagers whose lives and livelihood have been affected by the logging in Bukit Perangin here.
Media Statement, 18 May 2017