Uncontrolled logging in Kelantan the cause of flooding


(Bernama) – Uncontrolled logging is the main cause of the massive flooding in Kelantan, according to Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

He called for urgent large-scale replanting of trees in deforested areas. “At the moment, flood-mitigation projects cannot solve the problem but we need to carry out reforestation in the areas involved,” he said.

“In Kelantan, the way they’re cutting down the forest trees, it is as though the state has no law, while the department which should be looking after the forests, has not taken action.”

On a visit to a flood relief centre here, Shahidan said he would discuss with the Prime Minister measures to assist the PAS-led Kelantan government to rehabilitate the deforested areas and also on how to recover reserve land whose status had been changed.

“Forest reserves are just that, and these forests are water catchment areas. So we must not fell the trees in the water catchment areas.

“We must do something quick…those who have carried out uncontrolled logging are not affected, but the people in Kelantan are suffering from the disaster that has befallen them,” he said.

He said those involved in uncontrolled or illegal logging must be brought to justice.