FORMER prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called into question the claim that the Kedah government would face lawsuits of about RM1 bil from logging companies, after those concessions were revoked by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) state administration.
This is in response to the newly-installed state government considering providing replacement forests to logging concessions to avoid paying said RM1 bil as compensation to licensed loggers who had their concessions revoked.
In a post on Twitter, Mahathir noted that the logging concessions were revoked to provide a water catchment area for 4 million people, which would also provide water to the padi fields in Kedah and Perlis, which amount to “50% of national rice production.”
He also pointed out that, under the previous (PH) administration of his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, the state also saw its strategic investments tripling from 2018’s RM2.3 bil to 2019’s RM7.7 bil, with “high-paying jobs created for youths in the new factories of Kulim Hi-Tech Park.”
“Don’t sell the people. Don’t sell the forests. Don’t sell the treasures of Kedah for the sake of your friends, the loggers,” said Mahathir.
Mahathir also asked if the state was afraid of the loggers, calling for proof of the existence of the RM1 bil lawsuit, along with proof that the state government will lose.
“Afraid of being sued by loggers? Apparently there’s a compensation of RM1 bil? Are you willing to bow to the loggers? Prove that the RM1 bil lawsuit exists, and that the state government will lose,” he said. – May 27, 2020