SHAH ALAM, 14 Jan: Selangor will re-examine the existing encroaching laws, including increasing the fine rates and jail terms, as suggested by the Chief Minster, Mohamed Azmin Ali, recently.
The Exco for Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs, Elizabeth Wong, said that the goal to maintain forest reserves in Selangor has reached 31 percent as of now, as reported during the last State Assembly (DUN) session.
Elizabeth said that previously, the state government targeted 33 percent of the state’s forest reserves to be conserved from being encroached or explored by any party by 2025.
“We will re-examine the laws to give more power to the state’s Forestry Department Enforcement.
“We will also raise the rate of the fine and prison term in effort to achieve this aim,” he said, citing a portal.
He said this when asked to comment on the statement by Mohamed Azmin, which guarantees that the ecosystem, especially forest reserves in the state, will remain from being encroached at a rate of 30 percent.
Mohamed Azmin also ordered the Selangor Legal Advisor to tighten the existing legislation clause so that tougher action can be taken against those encroaching forests and government-owned land in the state in the effort to avoid natural disasters.
Commenting further of the flood issue in the state, Elizabeth said that flooding that happened in most areas are not due to deforestation; instead it is caused by the amount of rainfall that intensively fell when it is heavy.
She said that the situation thus caused the existing drainage and irrigation to fail in accommodating the large amount of water.
“As a result, water overflows onto residential areas and other areas, causing flash floods,” she said.
Recently, Mohamed Azmin said that a committee will be formed to ensure that there are development standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent floods from happening, including being careful in giving development approval.