Ecological havoc: State govt panned

(FMT) Sarawak PKR today slammed the state government for its failure to prevent an “ecological disaster” when timber mass and debris clogged the Rajang River for the past five days.

“Its failure to contain the problem shows poor governance and incompetence in dealing with the consequences of developments.

“Sarawakians will suffer greater losses in terms of socio-economic costs and ecological damage,” PKR information chief See Chee How said.

“After five days, the state government is still in the dark as to its root cause,” said See, pointing out that whenever it rains in the upper reaches of major rivers, floods are reported in towns along and at the lower reaches of the rivers.

See was commenting on the massive logjam caused when tonnes of logs and wood debris drifted down the Rajang River for about 250km, stretching from Ulu Baleh to Sibu.

As a result, river communication by express boats was disrupted between Sibu and other towns such as Kanowit, Song and Kapit.

Tonnes of dead fish such as Sarawak’s famous fish empurau which cost about RM500 per kilo have been found floating in the river.

“I agree with (Land Development Minister) James Masing that this is an ecological disaster,” See said.

“I feel constrained to agree with Masing when he urged the state government not to take an ‘ostrich’ approach,” See said, adding that Masing’s call to his cabinet colleagues to take stern action was quite “bizarre”.

“It is certainly weird when he asked the state government not to adopt an ostrich approach (in tackling the problem). However, I would also like to call on Masing to keep his head above the sand and tell us what he has done in the Cabinet.

“This is the third ecological havoc which has seriously affected the livelihood of the people in Baleh,” he said.

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