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buy apple account(buyappleacc.com):Selangor MB must explain shocking decision on Kuala Langat forest reserve

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THE Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) backs the call for Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari to come clean and explain the shocking decision to degazette and destroy 536.7ha (865 football fields) of one of the last remaining peat swamp forests in southern Selangor.

We add to the chorus of public outcry over this decision done in secret, with the decision hidden for three months before it was announced. We know that the wages of secrecy are often corruption, and we know that in secrecy, errors detected will flourish and subvert.

It bears reminding, that the plan to degazette the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) received 45,423 objections, overwhelming public attendance to a last-minute town hall session, more online petitions that finally accumulated around 130,000 signatures, and nearly 1,500 emails to Selangor state assemblymen to express opposition to the degazettement, as well  as a massive media campaign across all major local media outlets. 

In addition, 56 representatives in the Selangor State Assembly (DUN) across the political divide voted unanimously to support a motion to protect all forest reserves in Selangor in November last year, including the MB and the elected representatives who sit on the Selangor State Executive Council. Several parliamentary representatives have also voiced their objections.

Yet, the Selangor government has been adamant about degazetting the forest reserve and giving up the land to private property developers for commercial mixed development. So why?  What would lead an elected government to disregard public opinion and risk public outrage?

Adding to the opacity of the issue is how the justification for the degazettement seems to have changed as needed. This raises several questions that puts the spotlight on poor governance and an accountability deficit in the running of the state.

1. Where is the accountability, transparency and consultative process over the degazettement?

Why was the decision kept secret despite the level of public interest involved?

Selangor state executive councillor for environment Hee Loy Sian revealed that there were no objections by the Department of Environment, Forestry Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), Dean of Faculty of Forestry and Environment of Universiti Putra Malaysia, among others, during technical meetings. 

However, when environmental group PEKA (Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam) submitted an official request through the Freedom of Information (State of Selangor) Enactment 2010 for a copy of the Forestry Department’s report on the KLNFR, their request was rejected. Outcome documents from the town hall session were also not made available to attendees.

If the benefits of development outweigh the costs of degazettement, why are the technical reports not made available to allay public fears? 

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