Selangor to re-gazette Kuala Langat forest, stops development plan

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Selangor has halted development plans and cancelled transfer of ownership of the part of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR), which had been de-gazetted for commercial use.

Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Selangor

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the state will instead re-gazette portions of the reserve to become Orang Asli land, and another portion possibly for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

He said the decision was made at the Selangor executive council meeting today.

“The exco decided that 104 of 1,326 acres will remain de-gazetted and the land ownership be handed over to Kampung Orang Asli Busut Baru, an issue that has pending since 2006,” he said in a statement today.

The Orang Asli in this village were relocated from their original settlements in 1994 to make way for Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Amirudin added.

“The state government is also considering another small portion to remain de-gazetted for the ECRL.

“The state will also stop development plans for the area and cancel the transfer of land to the company involved.

“As such, the state government has decided to start re-gazetting KLNFR.”

At least 537ha of KLNFR had received approval to be de-gazetted, with 45% of the original 992ha facing a change in status.

This was carried out in May but not revealed to the public until the assembly sitting on August 12, drawing condemnation from environmental protection groups as well as assemblymen over the secrecy, not least the assembly had unanimously voted last November not to proceed.

Red flags were also raised over the company awarded the development rights, Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd, which was only incorporated in December and had a paid-up capital of RM1.

Its ownership is linked to Perdana Parkcity Sdn Bhd, developer of the Desa Parkcity township in Kuala Lumpur. Perdana Parkcity is also the property arm of the Samling Group.

Amiruddin said the de-gazettement was in accordance with the law and the procedures set in place.

“The state government stands by its accountability and so we have written to the speaker to convene the Selangor select committee on competency, accountability, and transparency, to answer all questions on the subject.”

The decision today follows pressure on the state to reverse the de-gazettement, while PKR had also censured Amirudin and demanded an explanation.

Amirudin added the 1,436 acres near Sg Panjang, Ampang Pechah and Bukit Broga – which was gazetted as a permanent forest reserve to replace the de-gazetted part of KLNFR – will remain so. – TMI