COMMENT | I am making this call solely to uphold the rule of law. This is necessary in view of possible breach of not only the Forestry Act but other related environment and development laws in the process of the de-gazettement of the Kuala Langat (North) Forest Reserve (KLNFR).
I am writing this based on my past role in government policy-making for 34 years, in Malaysia and in Asean, having led Malaysia and Asean delegations in negotiations, and coordinated implementation of several UN environmental conventions such as climate change and biodiversity. Hopefully, this will not be dismissed as another voice in the wilderness.
There is the expected surge of protests among the people, civil society and public interest groups, and surprisingly political upheaval within the Selangor ruling coalition itself.
However, I am concerned, based on media reports, these are uncoordinated piecemeal reactions and may easily be dismissed by the powers-that-be amid the mayhem. I try to provide a holistic overview of this impending disaster to help chart an effective coordinated response moving forward.
But first, let me explain why the situation is so dire that I am suggesting a precautionary court injunction immediately. A day lost could be disastrous as the decision-making machinery is moving at breakneck speed to a point where any effort to save KLNFR would be a pyrrhic victory, not to mention the heavy costs and liability to the public, apart from losing the forest reserve...