The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry has formed a taskforce to look into the various land issues affecting the hills of Cameron Highlands and Lojing, said its minister Xavier Jayakumar.
Xavier said the taskforce would draft its scope on issues like intrusion, dangerous slopes and appropriate law enforcement to prevent widespread land exploration before tabling it at the National Land Code Council meeting in April.
He added that the ministry viewed the matter seriously, as the government had spent a lot of money on projects like landslide and flood mitigation at Cameron Highlands, despite little cooperation from the state government.
“If the ministry spends RM400 million, like for the Sungai Ringlet Flood Mitigation Plan, but intruders use the land for agriculture without obtaining temporary occupation licence (TOL), then we will not be able to overcome this problem no matter how much money we spend.
“That is why we have formed a taskforce comprising the ministry, the state governments of Pahang and Kelantan, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office,” he told a press conference at the Lembah Bertam-Sungai Ringlet flood mitigation plan site office today.
Also present was Pahang DAP deputy chairperson M Manogaran, who has been announced as Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26.
Xavier said the task force was formed to look at the issue holistically, have an understanding of the need for projects implemented from now on to obtain approvals, and for those tasked with handling the jobs to do it responsibly.
He later toured the Sungai Tiang Orang Asli village in Ringlet, and was briefed on land survey plans and slope repair works, as well as drainage systems for critical slopes there.