Ke­lan­tan Forestry Dept to ap­point Orang Asli as in­form­ers

New Straits Times - - News -

The Ke­lan­tan Forestry Depart­ment will ap­point Orang Asli as in­form­ers in its ef­fort to tackle il­le­gal log­ging ac­tiv­i­ties, said its direc­tor, Datuk Za­hari Ibrahim, yes­ter­day.

Za­hari said il­le­gal log­ging and en­croach­ment on state for­est re­serves were ram­pant de­spite ef­forts to curb the ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said these ac­tiv­i­ties were de­tected in the re­mote ar­eas near the Orang Asli set­tle­ment in Gua Mu­sang.

To solve this prob­lem, he said, the depart­ment would in­tro­duce mea­sures, such as se­lect­ing sev­eral Orang Asli to be­come the depart­ment’s in­form­ers.

“We will ap­point sev­eral Orang Asli to help us.

“They will act as our ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’, and will in­form us if they know of such ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The depart­ment will is­sue a special per­mit called ‘mi­nor per­mit’ to the Orang Asli to en­able them to carry out for­est ac­tiv­i­ties such as cut­ting bam­boos for their liveli­hood.”

Za­hari said the depart­ment would di­rect log­gers to pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties like wa­ter tanks or even as­sis­tance to the Orang Asli es­pe­cially those af­fected by the il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“From now on, for any is­sues re­lated to the Orang Asli, the depart­ment will dis­cuss them with a special com­mit­tee that was set up re­cently among their vil­lage heads.”

He said all this would, how­ever, only be im­ple­mented af­ter the depart­ment had brought the is­sue to the state gov­ern­ment.

“Once ap­proved, we will im­ple­ment them.”

Datuk Za­hari Ibrahim

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