PETALING JAYA: An environmentalist has backed the suggestion for the federal government to be given more clout in forestry matters, saying individual states are often seen as “toothless” in enforcing relevant laws.
Noor Jehan Abu Bakar, the chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society’s Pahang division, gave the example of bauxite mining which saw a ban on all activities in the state two years ago following the contamination of water sources due to run-offs from unsecured stockpiles.
“No one has been brought to court even though the damage to the environment was overwhelming,” she told FMT.
She added that the mining activities stopped only after the federal government stepped in.
“This goes to show that the state lacks the willpower to execute enforcement.”
Deputy Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji recently told FMT that his ministry is working to tighten forest conservation laws.
An expansion of the federal government’s power in some areas is one of the amendments under consideration, he said. Presently, individual states have full power of enforcement in forestry matters while the fed