Posted by: ulumuda | August 11, 2008

Council to press for total ban on logging (The Star-1 July 08)

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan People’s Action Council will network with non-governmental organisations and environmentalists to press for a total ban on logging activities in the country.

Council president Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali said logging had a significant effect on the country’s ecology besides reducing forest reserves.

“Malaysia should emulate Thailand, which has banned logging totally. Our neighbours have even invoked the death penalty for anyone caught logging. I do not see why we cannot emulate them,” he told a press conference.

Ibrahim said state governments must find alternative income.

“The council will organise gatherings to get support from the public to ban logging totally in Malaysia,” he added.

Ibrahim hit out at Kedah for willing to proceed with logging at water catchment areas despite the possible consequences to the environment.

“Before the general election, the Opposition said they could do this and that when they governed the country. So, Pakatan Rakyat should do just that,” he added.

Ibrahim, who is the Independent MP for Pasir Mas, said the Pakatan states were just emulating Barisan Nasional in condoning logging.

“Similarly the Kelantan Government should ban logging and find alternative ways of generating income.

“If one is to study the concessions closely, states do not actually earn a significant income. It is the timber tycoons who make the big money,” he added.

Ibrahim said the Kelantan Government should strategise to make tourism a top revenue earner for both the public and private sectors.

“Kelantan has the hallmark of becoming the ‘Venice of the East’ with its huge waterways, rich history, culture and cuisine,” he said.

Ibrahim also urged the Federal Government to ensure projects such as flood mitigation and the Sultan Yahya Second Bridge were completed instead of deferring them.

“Delaying will only result in infrastructure projects becoming costlier. Just look at the proposed second Penang Bridge,” he added.

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