HUNT FOR

They opened fire on state Forestry Dept team, in­jur­ing two mem­bers

New Straits Times - - News - >>

ZARINA AB­DUL­LAH DUNGUN news@nst.com.my

AHUNT is on for an armed gang of il­le­gal log­gers, who opened fire on team mem­bers from the state Forestry Depart­ment here.

An en­force­ment team is hot on the heels of the cul­prits iden­ti­fied as “Geng Awang Bukit” af­ter the shoot­ing in Kam­pung Sedang, near the Bukit Bauk For­est Re­serve, in the wee hours yes­ter­day.

State Forestry direc­tor Datuk Ah­mad Fadzil Abd Ma­jid said two men, one from the de- part­ment and the other a me­chanic, were in­jured af­ter be­ing shot with what ap- peared to be air ri­fles.

Both were taken to the dis­trict hos­pi­tal for treat­ment, he said.

The two were part of a team despatched to Kam­pung Sedang to in­ves­ti­gate claims of il­le­gal log­ging near the for­est re­serve on Fri­day at 5.30pm.

“We re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that an ex­ca­va­tor broke down in the vicin­ity,” he said, adding that was why they brought along a me­chanic.

Af­ter lo­cat­ing the site where the ex­ca­va­tor had bro­ken down, the team worked on start­ing the ma­chin­ery to drive it to Paka.

“When they were about to leave, the team heard three shots.

The of­fi­cer was shot in his leg and the me­chanic in his thigh,” Fadzil said.

Pel­lets and ball bear­ings were found at the scene af­ter the shoot­ing.

“The in­ci­dent left the team mem­bers trau­ma­tised,” he said, adding that the depart­ment would track down the gang and bring them to jus­tice.

Items such as fuel tanks, logs, keys and parang were seized from the il­le­gal log­ging site.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far said ex­press rea­sons in their judg­ments, and for the rule of law to flour­ish, courts and their par­tic­i­pants should be al­lowed to share ideas and prin­ci­ples.

Sul­tan Nazrin said judges’ char­ac­ter, qual­i­ties and in­de­pen­dence served to sus­tain pub­lic con­fi­dence in the court.

He said in mak­ing de­ci­sions, it was im­per­a­tive that judges gave the gov­ern­ment was con­cerned about the in­ci­dent.

“The men were on duty to pro­tect for­est re­sources from be­ing ex­ploited.

“The in­juries could have been worse. I hope those re­spon­si­ble will be ar­rested soon.”

Wan Ju­naidi said he had re­ceived a re­port from the state Forestry Depart­ment that the men were part of a 10-man en­force­ment unit that was on a stake-out in the area. rea­sons in their writ­ten judg­ments.

“First, it re­flects the trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process, an in­te­gral com­po­nent to gain­ing pub­lic con­fi­dence. Se­condly, it is through th­ese judg­ments that law is de­vel­oped.”

Sul­tan Nazrin said the in­sti­tu­tions, some­times, seemed to be un­der threat, which made it im­por­tant that the pub­lic’s re­gard for the ju­di­ciary should be at its high­est and clear­est.

“We need coura­geous and fairminded judges to in­stil con­fi­dence that the ju­di­cial sys­tem re­mains sacro­sanct in guard­ing the rights, in­ter­ests and lib­erty of all.” Ber­nama

BER­NAMA PIC

Sul­tan of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah (cen­tre) at the launch of the book ‘Jus­tice Above All, Se­lected

Judg­ments of Tun Arifin Zakaria with Com­men­taries’ in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day. With him are Chief Jus­tice Tun Arifin Zakaria (left) and Court of Ap­peal pres­i­dent Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif.

PIC COUR­TESY OF FORESTRY DEPART­MENT

The il­le­gal log­ging site in Kam­pung Ser­dang, near the Bukit Bauk For­est Re­serve, in Dungun.

Datuk Ah­mad Fadzil Abd Ma­jid

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