Environmentalists protest proposed logging of Malaysian forest reserve
July 10, 2008
Nineteen environmental groups launched a protest against a Malaysian state government plan to log Hulu Muda forest reserve, reports Bernama.
The groups have formed an alliance — the Coalition of Friends of Hulu Muda — against the logging plan proposed earlier this year by Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak, Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Kedah.
Azizan Abdul Razak said the timber harvesting scheme — which would also include Pedu and the permanent forest estates of Bukit Keramat and Bukit Siong in the Padang Terap district — would generate 100 million ringgits ($31 million) per year in revenue.
Coalition coordinator Nizam Mahshar said the environmentalists want the federal government to declare Ulu Muda a national park, thereby banning logging activities. Such action would require the federal government to compensate the Kedah state government for forgoing its logging claims in the reserve.
Ulu Muda was gazetted in 1932 as a permanent forest reserve. It covers 160,000 hectares of rugged forest near Malaysia’s border with Thailand.