Letter to Editor
I SUPPORT the demands and the action taken by the residents of the Kampung Raja new village in Cameron Highlands to protest with banners on Tuesday (Dec 27). Also, I hope that the Federal and state governments will resolve the landslide crisis and take strict measures against the perpetrators, including criminal prosecution.
Recently, Kampung Raja experienced four mud floods within a month, two of which were severe floods (Nov 17 and Dec 20) that damaged dozens of houses.
The floods were caused by the hillside development activities near Kampung Raja. A company called Hycrop Sdn Bhd obtained a land clearing permit to cut down trees on the hillside, resulting in erosion and terrible devastation whereby trees, wood debris and mud had rushed halfway down the mountain.
The residents are very worried that heavy rain – particularly during the monsoon season – might cause the hillside to collapse, thus resulting in a serious landslide similar to the Batang Kali tragedy.
I hope that the Federal and Pahang state government will immediately address the problem and provide adequate budgets, including immediately arranging for the relevant departments, especially Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Department of Environment (DOE) and Department of Mineral and Geoscience to assess the safety of the hillside and make the safety reports and plans accessible to everyone.
In addition, the Government should invoke laws, including the Land Conservation Act 1960 and the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to revoke the license holders’ license, repossess the land, and take legal action against the irresponsible license holder.
The mastermind who has destroyed the environment, caused floods and destroyed the village must be held accountable.
We must not repeat the Batang Kali tragedy. – Dec 29, 2022
Ho Chi Yang is the DAP-Pakatan Harapan state assemblyman for Tanah Rata in Pahang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.