A number of Perakeans gathered in front of the State Secretariat Building, Ipoh on Thursday, February 10 to express their indignation against illegal logging in the state.
The protest was organised by the Malaysian Green Movement, a recently-formed non-governmental organisation.
The objective was to inform the public of the seriousness of the problem and its impact on the environment.
A petition highlighting the problem and requesting action by the authority was submitted to an officer from the Menteri Besar office.
Leading the peaceful protest was the movement chairperson, Yong Chien Huang.
According to Yong, illegal logging is widespread in many forest reserves in Perak. “The public deserves to know the truth. Development projects involving forest reserve lands need to be scrutinised,” said Yong.
“We’re against illegal logging activity that has been going on unabated. Although the lands are of no value, deforestation has its negative impact,” said protest coordinator, Low Guo Nan.
“The clearing on Gunung Kledang is visible from my house in Lim Garden. I felt a slight change in temperature ever since the illegal activity began,” said Panirchelvam Pappoo, 57, a former teacher of St Michael’s, Ipoh. He urged the state government to stop illegal clearing on the hill and return the land to its former state.
Present during the protest was a resident from Ladang Bikam, Ooi Hiap Looi, 52. She told Ipoh Echo that her mango plantation in Bidor was cleared for development purposes a few years back. “Our source of income was affected. Now when it rains the area around my house gets flooded,” she lamented.