SUNGAI SIPUT, Nov 28 — The state government is still in the process of calculating the total compensation to be paid by the federal government for maintaining forest reserves and protecting them against illegal logging activities.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the estimation and negotiation would be handled properly to achieve a win-win situation while taking into consideration the federal government’s current financial position.
“If Kedah were to ask for RM100 million, Perak’s demand will be higher, but we will not make an unreasonable demand.
“The amount has not been determined because the State Forestry Department is looking into the matter and this will also depend on the capability and approval of the federal government and we have not held any discussion yet,” he told a press conference after the state-level Malaysia Greening Programme at Sungai Siput Forestry Training Complex here, today.”
Saarani was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement on Nov 21 that the federal government would compensate state governments that maintain their forest reserves as water catchment areas and protect them against illegal logging activities
Meanwhile, Saarani said the state government had given approval for a total of 1,741 hectares of areas to be gazetted as new permanent forest reserves from 2017 until this year.
He said the gazette approval by the State Executive Council involved the districts of Kinta, Manjung, Larut and Matang Selama as well as South Perak.
Earlier, in his speech, Saarani informed that 3,613 hectares of forest reserves in the state had been encroached and illegally taken over for various purposes.
“Enforcement activities carried out by the Forestry Department and related agencies, have managed to detect 64 cases of forestry crimes, of which 16 were related to encroachment or illegal logging activities,” he said. — Bernama