Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Govt To Gazette Another 5 Million Hectares As Permanent Forest Reserves. Great News If We Can Keep MBs/CMs At Bay

According to Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan, the government will gazette in stages the balance of five million hectares of forests as permanent reserves to protect the country's flora and fauna heritage and water catchment resources. Apparently the federal and state governments were 'working closely' together in taking steps so that sensitive areas were gazetted as forest reserves.

On the face of it this should be considered wonderful news. But we have a knack of saying one thing and then systematically backtracking without qualm or conscience. The very mention of state governments should set alarm bells ringing in every environmentalist. Asking these avaricious state governments and especially their monumentally greedy and environment-unfriendly Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers to discuss steps in gazetting forests is akin to requesting a buaya to protect the mouse deer!

As if taking into consideration the horrendous environmental track record of our rapacious state pemimpin2 and anticipating their reflex objection to any thing resembling green preservation, Sothinathan added that "the move, however, depends on the state governments' land requirements for development first because our country is a developing country that requires new land for industry." Therein my friends, lies the problem. Our developer, sorry, development oriented MBs/CMs couldn't care less if another ten tsunamis struck us or if the forests were completely and brutally raped beyond recognition. Their bottom line would always be profit, earnings, commissions and constant Swiss bank top-ups. So as much as the federal authorities would like to get a decent amount of gazetting started, be prepared to see hurdles being placed every step of the way in the name of progress, public good, people's project and a few other meaningless code words for greed.

So will this noble effort end up as a case of "the spirit is willing but the MBs are weak?" Only God knows.

Read the entire report HERE.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

For decades, Malaysians have been duped into believing that mere gazetting can prevent the "rape of the forest reserve". And for that matter, all other official announcements. From inflationary prices of foodstuffs, corruption, national unity etc etc. Cries of wolf, twice thrice and dozen of times with no effective enforcement and consistent practices. Just as corruption cannot be ended by talk, the rape of the forest will not end with the gazetting. It's a matter of the "pagar makan padi" syndrome. You are right in your commentary. Controversial issue of illegal logging in the recent past at Kenyir dam serves as reminder, not to the officials but to Malaysians, a typical example, the wishy washy enforcement in the country. It has not improved in the past and don't expect it to improve in the future.

12:29 PM GMT+8  

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