TTDI residents fume over broken promises as developer gains ground

Source: The Malay Mail Online

People attend a protest against a proposed condominium project that would encroach into Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― Over 300 people attended a sit-in protest at Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) today over continued inaction by authorities while a threat to the green lung grows more imminent.

Some attendees were irate that there has been no update from the authorities, especially when Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor pledged during a November 3 town hall meeting to confer again with concerned groups.

Instead of another meeting, however, they learned that the  Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has given the developer of the offending project approval to build a showroom, even as a lawsuit by some residents to stop the development remains before the courts.

Save Taman Rimba Kiara group co-ordinator Leon Koay said they have tried repeatedly to contact Tengku Adnan to follow up on the matter, but to no avail.

“We feel perplexed by their silence. When we were at the forum, the minister seemed serious in exchanging information with us on Taman Rimba Kiara; however, now it seems that is not the case,” he said. Read more

Malaysia ‘ready’ to help Indonesia combat forest fires – minister

Source: Asian Correspondent

MALAYSIA’s Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has declared the country’s willingness to help neighbouring Indonesia to extinguish forest fires.

Last week, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) warned of increased risk of major fires as the peak of the dry season looms. Fires have already been reported in the province of Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra, close to Peninsular Malaysia.

Speaking at a public event on Sunday, Wan said, “I have discussed it with Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, who oversees the Fire Department and the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART).”

“He has given the assurance they are ready at any time,” Wan Junaidi said as quoted by Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama. Read more

Moratorium bauksit dilanjut hingga 31 Disember

Sumber: FMT News

An excavator fills a lorry with bauxite at the stockpile area at Kuantan port in this file picture. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR: Kementerian Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar bersama kerajaan Pahang bersetuju melanjutkan tempoh moratorium terhadap perlombongan dan eksport bauksit sehingga 31 Disember tahun ini untuk mengurangkan jumlah bauksit dalam stok simpanan.

Menteri Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar dalam kenyataan hari ini berkata beliau berharap lanjutan tempoh itu akan membolehkan bauksit dalam simpanan dikeluarkan secara terkawal berpandukan garis panduan yang ditetapkan kementerian.

Beliau berkata lanjutan moratorium itu tiada kaitan dengan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 tetapi sebagai tindakan terhadap aktiviti perlombongan haram yang dilakukan di tanah persendirian serta oleh syarikat yang tidak mengikut garis panduan sehingga menyebabkan pencemaran alam sekitar. Read more

Kawasan hijau Balik Pulau semakin terancam

Sumber: FMT News

GEORGE TOWN: Kawasan hijau di Balik Pulau semakin terancam disebabkan pelbagai projek pembangunan tidak terancang yang diluluskan kerajaan negeri pimpinan DAP, dakwa Ahli Parlimen Balik Pulau Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

Katanya sebelum ini kawasan itu merupakan kawasan hijau yang bersih dengan kampung tradisional terpelihara dengan baik selain kebun buah-buahan dan sawah padi.

“Ketika era pentadbiran Barisan Nasional (BN), tidak ada kondominium atau banglo mewah di tengah-tengah hutan di Balik Pulau. Kami benarkan pembangunan namun kami laksanakannya berdasarkan pelan struktur dan hanya kawasan tertentu boleh dibangunkan,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas melawat Hospital Pulau Pinang bersempena sambutan Aidilfitri hari ini.

Hilmi yang juga timbalan menteri kesihatan mengulas kenyataan Ahli Parlimen Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw yang mengeluh mengenai perubahan di Pulau Pinang dan kehijauan Balik Pulau yang semakin terhakis, menerusi akaun Facebooknya semalam. Read more

Dire need for stronger protection of Greater Ulu Muda Forests — 11 NGOs

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MAY 12 — We the undersigned, are deeply concerned about ongoing poaching and extractive activities that have been detected in Ulu Muda forests. This is based on two news reports featured in The Star, titled “Ulu Muda wildlife under threat” on May 8, 2017 and “Fresh logging at Ulu Muda catchment” in The Star on April 14, 2017 plus information from the signage found close to the main road from Gubir to the Ulu Muda jetty.

The Ulu Muda Forest Reserve and surrounding forest reserves (referred to as the Greater Ulu Muda forests hereinafter), with a total area of more than 163,000 hectares is the water catchment area for three man-made dams namely Muda, Pedu and Ahning and forms the headwaters for the Muda and Kedah rivers. Read more

Villagers concerned with ‘return’ of bauxite mining in Kampung Jeram in Pahang

 

HAKAM Comment: What happened to the extended moratorium on bauxite mining of three months from the start of 2017 as announced by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in December 2016?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

An excavator fills a lorry with bauxite at the stockpile area at Kuantan port in this file picture. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

An excavator fills a lorry with bauxite at the stockpile area at Kuantan port in this file picture. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUANTAN, Feb 21 — The presence of two excavators in Kampung Jeram in Beserah here has left local residents in a quandary as they fear bauxite mining activities are taking place while the moratorium period is still on.

The People’s Movement to Stop Bauxite Pollution (Geram) chairman, Ali Akbar Othman said the villagers realised the existence of the machinery in the village yesterday evening and they were eager to get answers from the contractor today.

He said after discussing, the contractor claimed he received a letter of approval to load and clear the bauxite stockpile from the mine.

“However, a check at the site revealed several new digging sites. We also asked the contractor to show us the letter and permit which he claimed he had obtained but he said the documents are with the land owner.

“As such we want them to stop work and gave them until tomorrow to submit the documents to verify claims that approval from the authorities had been obtained,” he said when contacted here. Read more

Government extends bauxite mining ban for another three months

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Earlier this month when raising a petition seeking Parliament’s intervention on the issue, PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said an estimated 44 companies are exporting some 15 million tonnes of bauxite out of Pahang to China each month. — Reuters pic

Earlier this year when raising a petition seeking Parliament’s intervention on the issue, PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said an estimated 44 companies are exporting some 15 million tonnes of bauxite out of Pahang to China each month. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Malaysia today extended a moratorium on bauxite mining by three months, from the start of 2017, to allow remaining stockpiles of the aluminium-making commodity to be cleared.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar also said that high stockpiles, nearly a year after the ban was first imposed, suggested illegal mining may have been carried out.

“There’s an indication that there is illegal mining going on, otherwise there would be no heap (of bauxite),” Wan Junaidi told a press conference.

About 2.95 million tonnes of stockpiles remain around Kuantan, the capital of the key bauxite producing state of Pahang, he said. Kuantan had 3.6 million tonnes of stocks in April. Read more

Top UN official: Environmental protection in war more urgent than ever

Source: UNEP

Ambassador Marie G. Jacobsson Honored at Fourth Annual Al-Moumin Award and Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding

Fires at oil refinery, Pancevo, Serbia. Pic taken from UNEP.

Fires at oil refinery, Pancevo, Serbia. Pic taken from UNEP.

Washington, DC, 3 November 2016 – In a year dominated by the tragedy of war, there is no more urgent time to address the need to protect the environment in armed conflicts, Ambassador Marie G. Jacobsson said today at the Fourth Annual Al-Moumin Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding.

Dr. Jacobsson, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict and recipient of this year’s prestigious Al-Moumin Award, said that while states and international organizations have taken steps to prevent environmental harm before and after armed conflict, they have been unwilling to commit to further legally binding rules during armed conflict.

“Many of us remember the shocking images of environmental destruction during times of war, such as the Agent Orange in Vietnam or the burning oil wells in in Kuwait,” Dr. Jacobsson said. “I witnessed the long-lasting effects of nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands earlier this year, and the effects of remnants of war at sea for the small islands States in the Pacific.

“The environment is a vital tool for building sustainable peace and respect for human rights. The need to protect it in the context of armed conflict is more urgent today than ever before.” Read more

The hills of Lojing stripped bare

Source: The Star Online

Pristine forest no more: Excavators (circled) clearing land on the slopes in Lojing Highlands as greenhouses line the land above near the Central Spine Road. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Pristine forest no more: Excavators (circled) clearing land on the slopes in Lojing Highlands as greenhouses line the land above near the Central Spine Road. Pic taken from The Star Online.

GUA MUSANG: Travelling along the Central Spine Road from Cameron Highlands into Lojing, it’s hard to spot much greenery on both sides of the highway.

When we reached there by jeep, we saw the tractors, a few almost perched on the treacherous slopes. The tractors looked like little more than ants against the vast backdrop of cleared hills.

Some of the areas involved were so vast that only an image from a drone or satellite could do justice to the size.

Where the excavators are not around, the land is almost certainly marked with the ubiquitous lines of greenhouse plastic all over the hillside.

The plastic covering is much like those at the vegetable farms in neighbouring Cameron Highlands.

Along the highway, several signboards, warning of wildlife from the permanent forest reserves nearby, including Lojing and Sg Brok, and that any development or land clearing must get the written permission of the Gua Musang land officer have been put up. Read more

MACC to probe bribery allegations connected to illegal logging at Gua Musang

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider

PASIR PUTEH, Aug 24 — Following a complaint lodged by the Orang Asli community in Gua Musang, the Kelantan Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has begun investigations into illegal logging activities there.

Its director, Datuk Moh Samsuddin Yusoff said based on complaints received, the case involved bribery in the form of cash, as well as supplies of rice and cigarettes from illegal loggers who intended to encroach the forest area near their village last month.

“We are currently determining the identity of the suspects offering the bribes. The Orang Asli’s practice not to accept bribes shows they are of high integrity.

“I hope other communities are also aware of the dangers of accepting bribes,” Moh Samsuddin told reporters when attending a seminar on the integrity of deforestation in the eastern zone (Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang)’ here today. Read more