Federal and Selangor government: Keep Ampang & Cheras permanent forest reserves intact
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In an advertisement published in the New Straits Times Classified on 14th March 2016, the Selangor Forestry Department has announced a proposal to degazette 29.982 hectares of Bukit Sungai Puteh Utara and Bukit Sungai Puteh Selatan forest reserves for the construction of the Sungei Besi - Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE). In relation to this, the department has invited any person having an interest to file their objections within 30 days of the notice. Another similar notice is going to be published, allowing an extension of another 30 days.
In year 2014, a similar proposal was made for de-gazetting four permanent forest reserves in Selangor for the construction of East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE). Early this year, Ampang Forest Reserve is closed for EKVE construction.
However, many developers has paved up their work without consulting the public citizens or account to their past objections. The highways were approved by the State Government without proper procedure in according
to Section 11 of ENAKMEN (PEMAKAIAN) AKTA PERHUTANAN NEGARA 1985. The recent cutting of trees in the Bukit Sungai Puteh Selatan forest reserve for TNB pylon project has caused objections from the residents nearby.
The residents of Taman Bukit Ampang only learnt that their houses were to be acquired through a notice placed in the neighbourhood surau in September 2015. At this time SUKE was not yet mentioned in the Kuala Lumpur Local Plan and the Ampang Jaya Local Plan, therefore it must be automatically rejected according to the Town and Country Planning Act 1976. Yet, SUKE has been "approved" to proceed.
The objection against excision of Bukit Sungai Puteh Utara and Bukit Sungai Puteh Selatan forest reserves
1) Permanent forest reserve is a chest-box of oxygen and mineral water. Without the forest reserve, air and water quality would be affected, and the global warming worsens. We had currently face the water shortage due to global warming. The construction of highway would cause emission of toxic gas carbon monoxide from the vehicles passing on the highway. Public transport is a better alternative - less motor vehicles, less traffic jams and more safe cycling lanes.
2) Many species of flora and fauna face of being endangered. We have encountered with a wild boar, golden monkey, snake, birds, fungi and the 100-years old trees. For every tree being cut down, it takes 100 years to replace the same aged trees and wildlife.
Examples of the affected flora and fauna according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and certified by Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Project SUKE is as follows:-
- Dipterocarp Shorea Marcoptera - Endangered
- Anisophylleaceae Anisophyllea Apetala - Endangered
- Meliaceae Aglaia Grandis - Almost endangered
- Fagaceae Lithocarpus neorobinsonii - Almost endangered
- Pangolin (Manis javanica) - Endangered
- Lar Gibbon (Hylobates lar) - Endangered
- Lesser Green Leafbird (Chloropsis cyanopogon) - Almost endangered
- Rufous-collared Kingfisher (Actenoides concreta) - Almost endangered
3) Many expatriates and tourist came to hike Apek Hill and Saga Hill for its natural forest close to the city centre. The "avatar" chengal tree (gone since May 2015), Sungai Puteh waterfall, and the harmless wild animals attract visitors. The recent discovery of World War II bombs in this forest would attract historians, and poses question on its potential danger should any excision of this forest takes place.
4) We need a good quality living environment. A highway in front and around your house? No. Highway development poses a threat to young children who needs their space to play, and wild animals that needs to roam. A closed space is too restrictive. The killing of trees is exposing the residents to flood and landslide. We do not want a repeat of the unfortunate landslide at Jalan Gombak-Bentong in November 2015.
Should we fail to convince you of the need and benefit of preserving Bukit Sungai Puteh Utara Permanent Forest Reserve and Bukit Sungai Puteh Selatan Permanent Forest Reserve, we urge you to hike Saga Hill, Apek Hill and Ketumbar Hill to experience its beauty and uniqueness yourselves.
We urge you to reconsider to keep our Bukit Sungai Puteh Utara and Bukit Sungai Puteh Selatan permanent forest reserves intact. We demand you the following actions:-
1) have open dialogues with stakeholders (the citizens) on forest reserve excision and release of documents. It includes an open dialogue on why SUKE replaces the public transport proposal;
2) set up an independent Committee comprising of the concerned citizen groups, NGOs, the State Government and Town Council for investigation, project approvals, and actions against illegal logging.
3) keep the Commonwealth pledge on Environment - ensure that the temperature increase is not more than 1.5 - 2 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial levels, and plant more real trees.
"When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money."
- The Native American saying
This petition is supported by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). All your support and comments will be provided directly to MNS to help MNS in their engagements with the Selangor government.
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