Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, to his credit, responded as soon as the report about the incident appeared on the NST website.
He wanted the police to catch the culprits for harming forestry officers who were performing their duties.
Illegal logging in Terengganu is a serious matter. It is prevalent in all seven districts all year round, with concentration in Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu, Setiu and Besut.
Insiders say these loggers are organised, some with masterminds so powerful that they control loader operators to deny enforcement officers the cooperation needed to transport seized heavy machinery.
In an operation in Besut last year, enforcement officers had to wait for more than eight hours to get a loader to carry a seized excavator. The delay was intentional and meant to frustrate the officers to leave the machinery unguarded.
Arrests are few and far between as the culprits would have been forewarned by tontos.
Maybe it is time for other agencies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Road Transport Department, to be involved.
The state Forestry Department also needs to boost its manpower. Its enforcement unit has 10 personnel. That is simply not enough. Their role is important because timber is one of the major revenue contributors to the state.
Illegal logging contributes to environmental damage and has been identified as one of the causes for floods. Many of the flora and fauna at risk have medicinal values. It would be a pity to lose it all.