Irregularities in logging cost Johor hundreds of millions of ringgit — Assemblyman

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JOHOR BAHRU (May 14): The Johor Government has lost hundreds of millions in revenue due to irregularities in logging in the Lenggor forest reserve near Mersing, said Johor Pakatan Harapan Backbenchers Club chairman Khairuddin A Rahim.

He said based on his visit to the area at the end of last month, logging by irregular means was still going on.

Khairuddin, who is also Senggarang State Assemblyman, said he lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today asking it to investigate the matter.

“I raised this issue of irregularities in logging at the Johor Legislative Assembly on Aug 12 last year. But when I visited the area at the end of last month, the practice of logging by irregular means was still happening,” he told reporters after lodging the report at the Johor MACC office in Tampoi here.

Khairuddin said a portion of the Lenggor forest reserve had been made bald by logging activities which contravened the regulations, like small untagged trees being illegally felled and taken out without the payment of tax.

“Replanting was not properly carried out and the extraction of timber was done illegally without paying tax to the Government,” he said.

He said apart from causing a loss in revenue to the State, illegal logging was also detrimental to the people and the environment as forest reserves were important water catchments.

Khairuddin said he would continue to pursue the matter with the MACC and raise it in the State Assembly until the relevant authorities take action.