Lawyer N Surendran has rubbished a minister's claim that Putrajaya's hands are tied over part of the Sungai Pulai Forest Reserve being turned into the Forest City Golf Resort.
Surendran said it was irresponsible for Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar to say that the federal government could not do anything.
"The federal government's hands are not tied. Minister, read the constitution please.
"The National Land Council can issue a binding directive to Johor. Also under National Heritage Act, Sungai Pulai can be declared a heritage site.
"The Johor state government is also under Pakatan Harapan, not BN. How can the Harapan federal government's hands be tied?
"It is irresponsible for the minister to tell the public 'It's already done'. You can remove the structures or at least take steps to ensure there is a halt to the destruction and no more golf courses are built," he tweeted today.
The Sungai Pulai Forest Reserve, which supports a rich biological diversity of mangrove and animal species, was gazetted in 1962.
In 2003, it was identified as a wetland of international importance and placed on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Malaysia is a signatory of the Ramsar Convention.
In a special report, Malaysiakini established that the Forest City Golf Resort is being built in an area that is part of the forest reserve.
Xavier had said that Putrajaya was unhappy over the development, but did not have any powers to act at the state level.