Mukhriz: Kedah govt clueless about raising revenue
Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the state government’s willingness to allow logging in forest areas with high conservation value showed that it was clueless about finding alternative sources of revenue.
“They have absolutely no idea how to fill the state coffers without exploiting natural resources,” he said in response to The Star’s exclusive report that highlighted that even protected forests were not spared in Kedah.
Former Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was quoted as saying that a 500ha area that was barely 300m away from the Pedu Dam had been approved for the first stage of logging.
Mahdzir, who is also Pedu assemblyman, said logging had adversely affected the ecosystem, apart from polluting Sungai Padang Terap.
Mukhriz said the Kedah government’s idea to use Ladang Rakyat as an excuse to clear forest reserves originated from Kelantan.
“Until today, Kelantan has not planted rubber or oil palm trees. Now, the Kedah government is doing the same. They have no regard for the environment as water quality has dropped significantly in the affected areas,’’ he added.
Kedah MCA chief Datuk Chong Itt Chew said the Kedah government had failed to keep to its promises to safeguard the interest of the rakyat.
He said the Kedah government had even failed to ensure clean water supply, as logging activities had taken a toll on water quality.
“For over 20 years, the residents of the five affected villages had been getting their water from Sungai Kupang but the logging in Gunung Inas has polluted the river.
“Now, the people of Kedah are left with no choice but to buy water to drink,” Chong said.