PETALING JAYA, Malaysia--More than 150,000 Malaysians have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling for the Selangor State Government to withdraw their decision to degazette the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR).
One of the petitions that received the most signatures was created by the Coalition for the Protection of Selangor’s Forests (CPSF) with 102, 213 signatures as of now. This latest petition was a direct response to the decision made by the Selangor State Executive Council through Selangor State Gazette, Article No. 1810, Gazette Plan: 3018, dated 4 August 2021 to degazette 536.7 (54%) hectares out of 957.63 hectares of KLNFR for a mixed development project.
This is the second petition that CPSF had created on this issue at Change.org as their first petition had already been submitted to the Selangor government officials back in March 2020 that resulted in the scaling-back of the development plan originally planned to convert 97% of the KLNFR.
The petition cites that the decision is not in line with the Selangor state government's plan in the State Structure Plan 2035 to maintain 32% of the forest area in the State of Selangor and in violation of National Forestry Act, various state and national plan such as the National Peatland Action Plan (2011 - 2020), National Biodiversity Policy (2016-2025), Third National Physical Plan (NPP-3) and Kuala Langat Local Plan 2030.
Other than that, the petition also details a long list of adverse impacts of the degazettement include the disregard of the rights of the Orang Asli Temuan community who have lived there for more than 130 years, the loss of wildlife habitat including flora and aquatic extinction, increase in the risk of peat fires and floods in the area, water shortage, and the importance of this carbon-storing ecosystem for Southern Selangor. The petition also cites other reasons related to climate change.
Supporters of the petition have also been leaving comments about why they are signing the petition:
“We don't have much forest any more. This area is home to the Orang Asli who depend on the forest for their sustainable Livelihood. Degraded forest is not an excuse. Degraded forest can be restored. The forest can help combat climate change. Save our forest.” signed Aisling Usun Bagly.
“The jungle needs to be preserved. It supports the existence and survival of mankind. It is the duty of public officials and the government to preserve the jungle.” signed Narinder Singh.
“Selaku warga Kuala Langat saya menolak sebarang usaha untuk mencabul ekologi dan penyahwartaan HSKLU! Kerajaan Selangor harus Pro-Rakyat, bukan Pro-Pemaju!” signed Thiban Subramaniam.
“We need to protect our biodiversity and forests, especially in this age of climate crisis and mass extinction. We especially do Not need to destroy high quality forest and further marginalize and shortchange our orang asli, the original custodians and rightful owners of this land.” signed Latifah Hamzah
“Cukup-cukuplah dengan Bumi yang dah tenat ni. Janganlah rakus nak harta dunia tanpa fikir panjang. Alam ni bukan milik manusia rakus” signed Siti Aisyah
Other than this petition by CPSF, there are also couple others that created the petition on the same issue which are from Dewan Pemuda Pas Kuala Langat that gained 29, 572 signatures and Norina Abdul Rahman with 22, 324 signatures that would add up to a total of 154,109 signatures that against the degazettement of North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve.