Posted by: ulumuda | March 10, 2009

Kedah tetap tebang balak (Utusan Malaysia- 1 Mac 09)

ALOR SETAR 28 Feb. – Tanpa menghiraukan bantahan pelbagai pihak, kerajaan negeri memutuskan untuk terus melaksanakan aktiviti pembalakan di kawasan Ulu Muda dekat sini.

Keputusan itu dimaklumkan Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak.

Katanya, kerja-kerja tersebut akan dijalankan dengan mematuhi Dasar Hutan Negara yang membenarkan penebangan balak di kawasan seluas 2,400 hektar.

”Apabila tiba masanya, kita akan potong, lagi pun ia bukan dijalankan di kawasan tadahan air,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Majlis Dialog dan Program Pembangunan Industri Halal Kebangsaan di Dewan Majlis Bandaraya Alor Setar (MBAS) di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Industri dan Pelaburan, Sains dan Inovasi Negeri Kedah, Datuk Ir. Amiruddin Hamzah.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditanya mengenai bantahan NGO terhadap tindakan kerajaan negeri untuk menjalankan aktiviti pembalakan di kawasan Ulu Muda.

Mengulas lanjut, Azizan berkata, ada pihak yang tidak faham bahawa Ulu Muda adalah kawasan yang luas dan mempunyai kawasan tadahan air serta kawasan hutan simpan.

ALOR STAR: Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak has given an assurance that the proposed logging project in the Ulu Muda forest reserve will not affect the environment.

He said the Pas-led state government was seeking the best logging method. The felling of trees would be handled carefully after getting views from experts.

He also said trees within water catchment areas would not be felled.

“Some areas in the Ulu Muda forest have been gazetted as water catchments.

“The state government has no intention of logging water catchments,” he said after attending a state-level halal food industry dialogue here yesterday.

Azizan was asked to comment on a nationwide signature campaign against the logging project in the Ulu Muda forest reserve.

The campaign, organised by a coalition of 19 non-governmental organisations led by Sahabat Alam Malaysia, aims to obtain a million signatures to exert pressure on Azizan to cancel the project.

Azizan also took a swipe at the group and asked the coalition to get its facts right on the forest reserve before issuing any statements.

Posted by: ulumuda | March 3, 2009

Move to block Ulu Muda logging plan (NST-28 Feb 09)

ALOR STAR: A nationwide signature campaign against Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak’s plan to log timber in the Ulu Muda forest reserve was launched yesterday.

A spokesman for the 19-member group, Shamsul Ery Shamsudin, said: “The ‘Save the Ulu Muda forest reserve’ campaign is on.

“We waited for feedback from the menteri besar for almost one year, but there was no response. He didn’t even want to meet us.

“We fear the logging plan is on and we want to stop this.”

Shamsul, who is a field research officer with Penang-based Sahabat Alam Malaysia, said the group expected to collect 1,000,000 signatures before the end of the year.
“We are also targeting 100,000 signatures in Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

“We will not relent until the menteri besar rescinds his decision.”

He said the group was appealing to the Federal Government to honour its promise to pay the Kedah government RM100 million annually if it spared the forest reserve.

He said the Penang and Perlis governments should also pay the Kedah government for preserving the forest reserve, which is about twice the size of Perlis, as it was a major source of water for the three states.

Azizan had proposed to fell timber in the forest reserve to earn revenue that will help the state government carry out development programmes.

Members of the group, led by Sahabat Alam Malaysia, are Malaysian Nature Society, Malaysian Karst Society, World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia, Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia, WaterWatch Penang, Partners of Community Organisations, Treat Every Environment Special, Environmental Management and Research Organisation of Malaysia, United Rural Citizens Association of Kedah, Mada Farmers’ Action Group, Community Development and Research Movement, Campus Environmentalist Network, National Friends of Environment Coalition, Consumers Association of Penang, Malay Empowerment Group, Suara Rakyat Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia Social and Health Awareness Association and the Fishermen’s Action Network.

The group collecting signatures in Alor Star.

The group collecting signatures in Alor Star.

A PROPOSAL will be tabled at the Kedah state assembly sitting on Aug 25 to gazette the Ulu Muda Forests as a national park.

Derga assemblyman Dr Cheah Soon Hai said this was the best way to conserve the precious water catchment areas in the 160,000ha of forest reserves. Read More…

Posted by: ulumuda | October 21, 2008

Forests’ new attraction(The Star-18 August 08)


THE discovery of the rare and elusive plain-pouched hornbill in the Ulu Muda forests in Kedah has made the forests even more attractive to bird watchers from around the globe.

Evidence has surfaced that the forest reserve is also a roosting site for the globally threatened species.

Malaysia Nature Society Kedah branch chairman Phang Fatt Khow said: “This is following the finding of a young four-month-old plain-pouched hornbill in Kampung Belantek about two weeks ago.

“A villager found the young bird that was probably displaced because of logging activities in the area.

“The bird is now under the care of the Wildlife Depart- ment,’’ he said at the sidelines of the Save Ulu Muda Forests public forum at Alor Star recently.

Rare bird:The plain-pouched hornbill found at Kampung Belantek.

MNS head of communications Andrew Sebastian said a DNA test was being carried out to positively identify the species that is scientifically known as Aceros subruficolis.

He said the latest findings have made Ulu Muda forests even more prominent on the global map of Important Bird Areas (IBA).

The species has also been spotted in South Myanmar, west and southwest Thailand and in the Belum-Temenggor forests.

“The status of the bird is uncertain in Myanmar where sightings of flocks have not been reported lately.

“The main threat to the species is deforestation activities in lowlands,’’ he said.

Andrew said birdwatching activities could rake in millions of tourism dollars, as avid bird watchers were willing to travel far and wide across to have a glimpse of rare colourful birds.

Other globally threatened birds that can be found in Ulu Muda are the masked finfoot and blue-banded kingfisher.

“Therefore Ulu Muda should be gazetted as a totally protected area.

“Logging activities and plans to log in the future should cease.

“We should protect what we have today before we lose them forever,’’ he said.

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) will propose to the Kedah government that the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve be converted into a national park.

The proposal will be submitted through Derga state assemblyman Dr Chia Soon Hai during the next state assembly sitting.

“This is an alternative to consider instead of the plan to log for timber at the water catchment area,” he said at the “Save the Ulu Muda Forest” forum here yesterday. Read More…


The exciting journey into the wilds of Ulu Muda to explore limestone caves that were not known to exist before and to see the rare specie of hornbills turned up another surprise. HYMEIR K., a caver at heart and president of the Malaysian Karst Society, reports with great disappointment coming across a tractor right in the heart of the lush virgin jungle, and the destruction that it had wreaked

WE returned to the wilds of Ulu Muda some four months ago to further explore a new find. A new limestone hill was discovered where none was thought to exist. No geological map showed the existence of limestone in the area. Read More…

Posted by: ulumuda | August 11, 2008

Water payments by Penang would be a help(NST-15 July 08)

ASSOC PROF DR MAKETAB MOHAMED, Institute of Environmental and Water Resource ManagementUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia

KEDAH Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak has threatened to log the upper catchment of the Sungai Muda and Sungai Kedah watersheds unless the Federal Government pays the state administration RM100 million annually. It is a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Cutting the trees within the watershed of Sungai Muda will not only affect the water supply for the people of Penang but also for the people of Kedah. Moreover, the Muda Agriculture Development Authority, which ensures the success of double-cropping rice, would be directly affected. Read More…


KEDAH’s controversial proposal to embark on heli-logging activities in water catchment areas have prompted the revival of the Friends of Ulu Muda II (FoUM II) movement.

FoUM II, comprising 17 non-governmental organisations, was revived to protect the catchments within the 160,000 ha forest reserves in the state. Read More…

Posted by: ulumuda | August 11, 2008

NGO desak jelas status DEIA 2003(BH-11 Julai 08)

Oleh Siti Fatimah Mohamed Anwar

Laporan bercanggah dengan cadangan membalak di Hutan Simpan Ulu Muda

ALOR STAR: Gabungan 19 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang menamakan diri mereka Sahabat Ulu Muda II, mendesak kerajaan negeri menjelaskan status Laporan Impak Alam Sekitar Terperinci (DEIA) 2003 yang menolak cadangan pembalakan di Hutan Simpan Ulu Muda sebelum ini. Read More…

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