The Kelantan government will not stop logging activities in the state as they are carried out in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated under the National Forestry Act 1984, says Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
He said logging activities in Kelantan are conducted according to stipulated regulations.
Each state is given a quota by the National Forestry Council, and there is a condition where after the felling of trees, reforestation has be carried out in the affected area, he added.
He said the trees had a certain age period, whereby after a certain length of time they must be felled to prevent them falling onto and destroying other growth.
“For example, if the quota given for this year is 3,000 hectares, then we should not exceed the 3,000 hectare. Otherwise, we will be subject to action by the National Forestry Council. The quota is not determined by the state, but the National Forestry Council.
“Logging provides revenue not only for Kelantan. In fact, almost all states depend on forest products, especially Pahang and Sarawak,” he told reporters when met after an event in Kota Bharu today.
He said this when asked about an online petition for a moratorium on logging and to preserve forests as a bulwark against floods, which has received nearly 200,000 signatures.
The petition, titled “Henti Pembalakan & Kemusnahan Alam Sekarang”, was co-sponsored by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) and an environmental group, the Association for the Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka).
The petition was launched to urge the government to impose a moratorium on logging activities for the time being following the catastrophic floods.
Amar said logging activities were not the main cause of the floods in the state, as it was a phenomenon that occurred almost every year.
Furthermore, no tree feeling is allowed between October and December due to the monsoon season, he said.
“Those that were swept by the floods (during the monsoon season) may have been felled before that period and stored at the Beta (log storage area),” he said, urging the public to not blame logging activities alone for the floods.