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Friday, November 9, 2007

Ministry to meet A-G on Lojing controversy

The Star (8/11/2007): The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will meet the Attorney-General on Friday to deliberate charges that could be levelled against those involved with the controversial Lojing site in Kelantan.

Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Sazmi Miah said it had taken such a long time to bring a case against the Kelantan government as his ministry needed to wait 137 days for a reply from the state regarding certain aspects of the case.

“We took this path so as to ensure that the investigations were fair and had the input of the state,” he said.

Sazmi said based on documents he had, the state government had given false information and had also failed to gazette the Lojing Highlands area as a highland.

“There are certain rules that apply to highlands, but by going around this, the owners of the land do not actually own land that is designated as a highland even though it is one,” he said.

“This means they could carry out activities that would otherwise be illegal,” he added.

Sazmi however added that it would be difficult to take legal action against the Kelantan government, as the land belonged to them.

“We will have to look at which law we can use to charge the state,” he said.

Earlier this year, it was reported that large areas of the Lojing Highlands had been stripped bare due to logging activities, of which only five of the 22 companies working there had their Environmental Impact Assessment reports approved.


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