KUALA LUMPUR — May 8, 2019: An environmental advocacy group has criticised the Melaka government for approving a sand dredging project at the Bukit Senggeh forest reserve in Jasin, saying that the chief minister had gone back on its promise.
“He (chief minister Adly Zahari) promised that he would not touch any permanent forest reserve. Why is he not keeping his promise? That place is a permanent forest reserve, therefore there can be no development there, certainly not sand dredging,” said Natural Heritage of Malaysia Association (Peka) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil today.
She was made aware of the matter after former PKR central committee member Badrul Hisham Shahrin posted at Facebook several pictures of the project, one of which was an award letter from the CM’s office to Jaya Sepakat Klebang Construction.
Another claim by Sabrina is that although Bukit Senggeh is in fact a permanent forest reserve, Adly had late last month re-gazetted it into an open forest so as to open it for more recreational activities.
According to the letter, the government has agreed to lift the ban on sand mining in permanent forest reserves that it had imposed last year and had also bestowed its investment arm, Chief Minister Incorporated, exclusive rights over sand and mineral extractions.
A check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia revealed that Jaya Sepakat Klebang Construction is co-owned by Abu Halipah Samah, who is a branch committee member of Tangga Batu PKR, and Gan Hoong and Chin Nget Fong.