Mon09262016

LAST_UPDATEMon, 26 Sep 2016 6pm

Malaysian Hairstylist Jailed 12 Years For Killing Same-Sex Lover

Malaysian Hairstylist Jailed 12 Years For Killing Same-Sex Lover

SINGAPORE: A 40-ye...

Cyber Security A Top Concern In Asia Pacific, Says Internet Society Survey

Cyber Security A Top Concern In Asia Pacific, Says Internet Society Survey

SINGAPORE: Online ...

Harakahdaily Rejects Offer To Settle PM Najib's Defamation Suit

Harakahdaily Rejects Offer To Settle PM Najib's Defamation Suit

PUTRAJAYA: PAS mou...

Explain Imposition Of GST On Places Of Worship And Welfare Homes: Rafizi

Explain Imposition Of GST On Places Of Worship And Welfare Homes: Rafizi

PETALING JAYA: The...

Get Valid News Sources, Don't Depend On Viraled Information: Zulkefli

Get Valid News Sources, Don't Depend On Viraled Information: Zulkefli

KUALA LUMPUR: The ...

Phantom Of The Opera 'Curse' Hits As Fire Menaces Paris Debut

Phantom Of The Opera 'Curse' Hits As Fire Menaces Paris Debut

PARIS: The curse o...

Samsung Delays Restarting Sales Of Its Galaxy Note 7 In S Korea

Samsung Delays Restarting Sales Of Its Galaxy Note 7 In S Korea

Samsung has said i...

Australian Dad's Car Towed Over Son's Burnout Videos

Australian Dad's Car Towed Over Son's Burnout Videos

An Australian fath...

Wanda Steps Up Rivalry Against Disney In China With Second Park

Wanda Steps Up Rivalry Against Disney In China With Second Park

China's Dalian Wan...

Man Jailed 12 Years For Stabbing Lover To Death After Victim Avoided Calls, Said He Was 'Not Gay'

Man Jailed 12 Years For Stabbing Lover To Death After Victim Avoided Calls, Said He Was 'Not Gay'

SINGAPORE: A hairs...

Oil Prices Rebound After Algeria Says All Options Open At OPEC Meeting

Oil Prices Rebound After Algeria Says All Options Open At OPEC Meeting

Crude prices rebound...

BOJ's Kuroda Says Ready To Use Every Possible Tool To Hit Price Goal

BOJ's Kuroda Says Ready To Use Every Possible Tool To Hit Price Goal

Bank of Japan Govern...

Hyundai Motor Union Stages First Full Strike In 12 Years

Hyundai Motor Union Stages First Full Strike In 12 Years

SEOUL: Hyundai ...

Local Banks Brace For Profit Hits As O&G Firms Restructure Debt

Local Banks Brace For Profit Hits As O&G Firms Restructure Debt

KUALA LUMPUR: Mala...

Optimism In Britain's Finance Industry Hits Financial Crisis Low

Optimism In Britain's Finance Industry Hits Financial Crisis Low

LONDON: Optimis...

"The Magnificent Seven" Tops North American Box Office

LOS ANGELES: "The Ma...

Why Being Offline Is Overrated

Why Being Offline Is Overrated

The Tweet went out...

Body Fat Link To Bacteria In Faeces

Body Fat Link To Bacteria In Faeces

The make-up of the...

Turner Prize Exhibition Opens With Giant Buttocks, Train Rides And Scrap Metal

Turner Prize Exhibition Opens With Giant Buttocks, Train Rides And Scrap Metal

Members of the pub...

Dr Waheed Arian: The Refugee Who Treats Afghans Via Skype

Dr Waheed Arian: The Refugee Who Treats Afghans Via Skype

When 15-year-old W...

Massive land clearing is being done in another virgin jungle patch in Cameron Highlands. Pic: The StarMassive land clearing is being done in another virgin jungle patch in Cameron Highlands. Pic: The StarCAMERON HIGHLANDS: A special task force to be set up under the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will work with the Pahang Government to tackle the widespread ravage of Cameron Highlands. But even as newly-appointed Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel announced this yesterday, another huge tract of virgin jungle was found stripped bare to make way for more vegetable farms.

The ongoing uncontrolled clearing of jungle slopes has led to residents to voice accusations of corruption involving officials and protection by powerful hidden forces.

The latest area of rape, spread over about 10ha, is located upstream of the crucial Kuala Terla water catchment area. Part of it is behind a steep hill and hidden from view.

Palanivel, who is also Cameron Highlands MP, said the wanton destruction of the hills must be stopped.

"The ministry has its plans in line. It will be my duty to implement them and initiate further action," he told The Star.

He said the special task force was necessary because the highlands needed urgent attention to safeguard them from further harm, adding that remedial work to repair existing damage was costly.

The minister said unbridled damage had also led to poor water quality in the rivers, siltation, soil erosion and frequent landslides in many places.

"Many people's lives are affected because they rely on the rivers as their source of water, especially the orang asli," he said.

Environmental organisations, including the locally based Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands (Reach), have repeatedly highlighted illegal land clearing cases over the years.

Reach president R. Ramakrishnan expressed his frustration over the dire situation and ineffective enforcement methods of the authorities.

"The lack of enforcement has led many locals to believe widespread corruption is taking place," he said.

A check at the latest cleared site showed workers busy levelling the terrain behind the hill using an excavator and four tractors.

They stopped abruptly upon realising they were being filmed.

Apparently, the workers had been pushing felled tree trunks and boulders into a valley where a stream merges with Sungai Icat.

Sungai Icat flows into Sungai Terla, where water is drawn from the catchment area.

The Kuala Terla water treatment plant, located downstream, supplies 60% of water to Tanah Rata and Kampung Raja.

The stream is now choked by silt and felled trees, while farm waste such as fertiliser bags are found strewn near the water.

Ramakrishnan said the authoritis were supposed to close down the farms when the issue was first highlighted but had followed them to grow to a staggering 80 in just a few years.

He said enforcement officers from the Land Office had visited the place in early May.

"But they came back empty-handed as the workers had left the site. Most likely, they had been informed of the raid.

"This is why I believe that either the local authorities or somebody high up is backing the culprits," he said.

Another patch of steep slope in Perlong Valley is also being cleared behind the Kuala Terla water treatment plant, with a large stream next to it already showing a massive pile up of slit.

The Star reported in December that the silted-up stream had overflowed its boundaries during the rainy season and caused a portion of the only road leading into the area to cave in completely.

A culvert has now been built under the repaired road, which has not yet been tarred, to direct the flow in Sungai Telom, downstream of the water intake.

"The culvert has made things even worse. Instead of trapping the silt, it is now an open channel for all the silt to flow into Sungai Telom," Ramakrishnan said.

Malaysian Nature Socuetty president Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed said that ass Sungai Telom flows into the new Ulu Jelai hydroelectric dam, the sedimentation would affect the turbines and cause the dam to fill up quickly.

"When I studied Cameron Highlands' waters about five years ago, there were about 20 vegetable farms upstream. Now, there are 80," he said sadly.

He led the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia study in Oct 2008, which detected E.coli bacteria at the Sungai Terla and Ulu Bertam watersheds, revealing contamination from unsanitary worker toilets and from fertilisers such as chicken droppings.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia researchers detected two toxic and illegal pesticides - DDT and lindane - in Sungai Telom and Sungai Bertam last year.

 

- The Star

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/20/nation/13133699&sec=nation