Home Civil Society Voices Hentikan kelulusan pembersihan bukit di Cameron Highlands (Malay/English)

Hentikan kelulusan pembersihan bukit di Cameron Highlands (Malay/English)

File photo: Logging in Cameron Highlands - BERNAMA

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) berasa sedih dengan kejadian tanah runtuh yang berlaku di Blue Valley, Cameron Highlands, awal pagi 26 Januari yang menyebabkan empat orang tertimbus setakat ini.

Walaupun punca tanah runtuh masih belum dapat ditentukan, SAM berasa amat bimbang dengan aktiviti pembersihan bukit di Cameron Highlands untuk semua jenis projek termasuk pembangunan pertanian dan pembinaan yang bertanggungjawab bagi pendedahan terhadap tanah runtuh di kawasan Tanah Tinggi, terutamanya semasa hujan lebat.

Malah, pada Januari 2023, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah telah mengarahkan supaya kajian semula semua projek di kawasan bukit dan tanah tinggi di Cameron Highlands, berikutan hujan lebat, kerana bimbang akan kemungkinan berlakunya bencana.

Duli Yang Teramat Mulia menyuarakan kebimbangannya mengenai aktiviti pembukaan tanah bukit secara meluas bagi pertanian dan projek-projek lain dan juga menggesa supaya mengkaji semula semua kelulusan sementara menambah bahawa ini sudah cukup!

Jelas sekali, arahan daripada pihak berkuasa tertinggi negara ini nampaknya tidak diendahkan.

Presiden SAM sendiri berada di Cameron Highlands pada tahun baharu tahun ini dan terkejut melihat terlalu banyak pembangunan, dengan pembukaan bukit untuk pertanian dan pembinaan besar-besaran sedang dijalankan, termasuk di kawasan Blue Valley.

Pesona lama Cameron Highlands telah hilang, hutan yang dulunya subur digantikan dengan pembukaan bukit dan landskap berparut untuk tanaman pertanian, perumahan dan projek pembinaan bangunan.

Keluhan daripada pelawat kedengaran mengenai pemandangan hodoh, serta bagaimana tanah tinggi itu tidak lagi sejuk dengan kehilangan kehijauan semula jadi.

Kerajaan negeri dan pihak berkuasa tempatan mestilah dipertanggungjawabkan kerana membenarkan terlalu banyak pembangunan di kawasan yang sangat sensitif terhadap alam sekitar, terutamanya apabila kesan perubahan iklim kini lebih ketara, dengan intensiti hujan yang belum pernah berlaku sebelum ini.

SAM menyuarakan kebimbangan yang diutarakan oleh raja kita, dan menyeru pihak berkuasa untuk menghentikan sebarang kelulusan lanjut mengenai pembersihan untuk semua jenis projek, dan untuk semakan menyeluruh terhadap kelulusan yang diberikan pada masa lalu.

Kami semua menggesa supaya pasukan petugas ditubuhkan bagi menjalankan kajian semula dan mendedahkan hasil penemuan itu kepada umum.

Selanjutnya, langkah segera mestilah diambil bagi memulihkan cerun berisiko dan tindakan pencegahan bagi mengelakkan kejadian tanah runtuh dan kegagalan cerun pada masa hadapan, termasuk oleh pihak berkuasa persekutuan. – SAM

Meenakshi Raman ialah presiden Sahabat Alam Malaysia

English version

Stop approving hill clearings in Cameron Highlands

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is distressed to learn about the occurrence of a landslide in Blue Valley in Cameron Highlands, early in the morning of 26 January that led to four persons being buried so far.

While the cause of the landslide is yet to be determined, SAM is gravely concerned that hill clearings in Cameron’s for all kinds of projects, including for agriculture and construction development, could be responsible for the landslide-prone highlands, especially during heavy rains.

In fact, in January last year, the Agong had directed that there be a review of all projects on the hill areas and highlands in Cameron Highlands, following heavy rains, fearing the likelihood of disasters happening. The king had voiced his concerns about the widespread clearing of hill land for agriculture and other projects and had called for a review of all approvals while adding that this was enough!

Clearly, it appears that this directive from the country’s highest authority does not seem to have been heeded.

The president of SAM herself was in Cameron Highlands in the new year this year and was shocked to see so much overdevelopment, with hill clearing for agriculture and massive construction going on, including in the Blue Valley area.

The old charm of Cameron Highlands is gone, with lush forests being replaced by hill clearings and scarred landscapes for agriculture crops, housing and building construction projects.

Complaints from visitors were heard about the ugly sights, as well as how the highlands are not as cool anymore with the loss of the natural greens.

The state and local authorities must be hauled up again for allowing so much overdevelopment on what is a highly environmentally sensitive area, especially when climate change impacts are more apparent now, with unprecedented rainfall intensities.

SAM echoes the concerns expressed by our king and calls on the authorities to stop any further approvals of clearings for all kinds of projects and for a thorough review of approvals given in the past.

We also call for a taskforce to be set up to conduct the review and make public the findings.

Further, immediate steps must be taken to rehabilitate the risky slopes and for preventive action to avert future landslides and slope failures, including by the federal authorities. – SAM

Meenakshi Raman is president of Sahabat Alam Malaysia

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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