The Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (PEKA) is prepared to furnish proof that there were logging activities in the Lentang Permanent Forest Reserve before the mudslide incident at KM52.4 of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway on Wednesday evening.
Its president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said PEKA had viewed the logging area, which was purportedly said to be for an electric power lines and towers project route, and had photographs to prove the activity existed.
“Before the incident took place, PEKA had entered the area in question last year, which was not far from the area of the mudslide incident, and found a three-lane laterite road for logging.
“We have clear photographs to prove the matter, other than the condition of the water of Sungai Benus in the Lentang Recreational Forest, which was clear in the past but is murky now. This is enough to tell what had transpired.
“The mudslide incident on Wednesday is also clear evidence it was the effect of logging activities taking place prior to this,” she told Bernama here, Sunday.
However, the Pahang Forestry Department and the Menteri Besar of Pahang Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had denied that logging activities was the main factor for the mudslide which resulted in the highway being closed for four days.
Shariffa Sabrina said the matter voiced by PEKA all these while was only to protect the environment and did contain any personal or political agendas.
Bernama, prior to this, had reported on the anxieties of residents in Janda Baik on uncontrolled logging activities which were allegedly carried out in Lentang Permanent Forest Reserve which was feared would affect the water catchment area and a myriad of valuable natural treasures.
Meanwhile, a family member of one of the Pahang Forestry Department personnel in Lentang who was affected by the mudslide incident did not deny that logging activities were taking place in the area.
“Timber lorries often entered and exited laden with timber near our house about four to five months ago,” said the individual, who did not want his name to be published, when met at the Lentang Mosque here.