Monday, October 1, 2007

Threats to take Lojing issue to court

The Lojing highland issue has boiled to a point where PAS and Umno leaders have now threatened to bring their quarrel to courts.

It is learnt that a prominent lawyer is here to meet Kelantan state executive councillors Datuk Husam Musa and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan over a possible legal suit regarding the hill issue, following reports of environmental degradation there.

State Umno chief Datuk Seri Annuar Musa has also threatened that the Kemubu Agriculture Development Authority (Kada), of which he is chairman, would engage a lawyer to file a defamation suit against Husam, who is PAS vice-president.

Speaking at separate meet-the-press sessions here yesterday, both parties are accusing each other of attempted slander and defamation over the highland, which is allegedly in danger of being logged bare and silting streams and rivers.

After briefing 23 PAS assemblymen and MPs on the party’s perspective of the issue. Husam told reporters that the real issue was lack of enforcement, not rampant logging.

“The jurisdiction to enforce comes under the purview of the Department of Environment (DOE). The state and local authorities have limited clout on monitoring development in the highlands.”

He claimed from his records, there are 21 companies involved in either applying or having started work at Lojing.

Of these, two had flouted regulations by starting work without the environment impact assessment (EIA) report, he alleged.

He said there were eight companies that had not started work as they had either deferred it or were in the process of getting an EIA.

Annuar said Husam must issue an apology to Kada, for allegedly mis-stating facts and smearing the reputation of the Federal agency by saying that it had leased out 2,000ha of land to farmers relocating from the Cameron Highlands.

Annuar, showing Kada land title deeds and other documents, said the authority only had 193ha of land and had not leased out any.

He said if Husam did not reply within a stipulated period, Kada would engage a lawyer to file a defamation suit against him (Husam). (Malaysia Today)


Blogger Templates by 2008