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Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob (centre) at a conference on Sustainable and Responsible Mineral Resources Development in Malaysia held at Zenith Hotel, Kuantan, Pahang. Pix by Shahrinnahhar Latib

KUANTAN: The state government is prepared to put the brakes on all land clearing activities at Mukim Batu Yon in Merapoh, Kuala Lipis, if such activities were found to harm the ecosystem and water catchment areas.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said matters concerning Merapoh should have been informed to him at the beginning so that the logging and land clearing works could have been halted much earlier.

"The logging activities are under Yayasan Pahang (YP) while the land clearing works are for an oil palm plantation belonging to the Pahang Agriculture Development Corp (LKPP). The piece of land was given to LKPP in 1992. We were only recently notified about the logging activities.

"If the site serves as an important water catchment area, we will cancel the projects. YP can find other areas for logging while LKPP has to move elsewhere for oil palm....it should not be a problem as the Menteri Besar is the chairman for both YP and LKPP," he told reporters after opening the conference on Sustainable and Responsible Mineral Resources Development in Malaysia here today.

He was commenting on the recent logging activities in Merapoh which prompted the State Department of Environment on Nov 27 to issue a two-week stop work notice and instruction to start rehabilitating the land.

This was following reports that the logging activities were conducted close to 669 hectares around Gua Hari Malaysia (Malaysia Day Cave) which had high tourism potential and was a source of clean water to around 10,000 residents in eight villages.

Meanwhile, Adnan said those who had information about projects that could pose a threat to the environment in Pahang should come forward and inform the relevant authorities, including himself.

"Do not wait till things get out of control....the trees have been cut and then only do they come to inform. We want to cooperate and work together....tak kan Menteri Besar nak kena bawa pita ukur untuk ukur semua (don't tell me that as the Menteri Besar I will have to go to the ground with a measuring tape and check the areas myself)," he said.

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