by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic by BERNAMA
THE Selangor Agricultural Development Corp (PKPS) plans to take legal action over allegations that it has illegally encroached on the Sungai Panjang Permanent Forest Reserve (SPPFR).
PKPS also denied allegations that it had cleared part of the SPPFR in Sabak Bernam which has been said to be a replacement for the delisted Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR).
“PKPS would like to emphasise that the delisting of KLNFR had nothing to do with PKPS. We also vehemently deny the allegations and describe them as malicious and subversive to tarnish the image of PKPS and indirectly to sabotage the state government’s initiatives that have been planned for the benefit of the people of Selangor,” it said in a statement yesterday.
“Therefore, to ensure that the spread of false news like this does not happen again, PKPS will take legal action including defamation suits against the parties involved in the near future for trying to bring down PKPS and the government by making untrue and baseless allegations,” PKPS added, in reference to statements by a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Coalition for the Protection of Selangor Forests and statements by Global Environmental Centre director Faizal Parish over the matter.
“The parties involved should first make a report and seek clarification from PKPS or the state government before making such baseless allegations,” it said.
Recently, PKPS received a complaint about satellite images showing that there was an intrusion by outsiders in the Selangor Smart Agro Park (SSAP) area and around SPPFR on Aug 28, 2021.
According to PKPS, preventive measures were taken with strict monitoring of the entire 971 hectares of PKPS’ site.
PKPS added that the SSAP integrated agricultural development project site, which has been linked to the alleged forest land encroachment issue, is not classified as permanent reserved forest but is a property under the PKPS with agricultural land status.
“PKPS remains committed to implementing the SSAP project based on the laws and regulations set by the Selangor government,” PKPS said.
“We assure that it will continue to work with other government agencies and NGOs with integrity and sincerity to help the state government ensure that the local agrofood sector can meet the needs of the people of Selangor in the future,” PKPS stated in a statement.
In the meantime, PKPS informed that it is preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment report and complied with all recommendations and instructions from the Selangor State Environment Department (DoE) before starting development work at the SSAP site as directed by DoE through the approval letter dated May 31, 2021.
According to the statement, DoE allowed PKPS to carry out repair work or such as construction of drainage systems, reservoirs, soil stabilisation, soil erosion and siltation control, as well as peatland drainage control as the area is often hit by floods and encroached by irresponsible parties since 2000.