Right at the heels of the wanton depletion of forest reserves near the Pedu Dam catchment area in Kedah, Selangor's Templer's Park appears headed the same direction with unchecked logging under Pakatan rule.
However, while Kedah's land clearing was disguised under the purported Ladang Rakyat project, the Selangor Pakatan-helmed administration, in allowing the massive deforestation for the purpose of constructing 60 luxury bungalows with prices starting at RM4 million each (The Star, 20 Nov) seems to emulate the Penang state government's footstep of destroying hillslopes for posh homes.
DAP's 2008 manifesto had pledged to "preserve our forest, wetlands and bio-diversity" while PAS promised to "protect rain catchment's areas, the preserved jungles and their wild life."
But moves to allow the construction project renders these DAP and PAS commitments a failure.
Perhaps that is why the PKR manifesto and Barisan Alternatif Manifesto for Selangor in 2008 failed to include environment protection, knowing this exclusion gives leeway for environment carnage.
The Selayang Municipal Council which has jurisdiction over the housing project in Templer's Park should heed the alarm sounded by Malaysian Nature Society chairman Henry Goh that the project could threaten the ecological integrity of the park which is a water catchment area and a natural habitat for flora and fauna.
As Templer's Park has long been renowned as a place for recreation where people can enjoy the lush greenery and cool air, it should be protected from further logging by profit-oriented construction developers.
On a separate matter, besides permitting environment degradation for the construction of lavish homes for the wealthy, the Selangor state government should encourage more housing projects which are affordable to benefit the lower and middle income strata of society.
WONG KOON MUN is MCA Selangor Secretary and State Assemblyman for Kuala Kubu Baru.