PETALING JAYA: The rationale for the degazettement of the Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve (BCFR) is to complete the process that was pending in 2006, says the Selangor Forestry Department.

In a statement to The Star on Saturday (July 9), department director Datuk Ahmad Fadzil Abdul Majid said the Selangor government had taken appropriate measures to resolve matters that have been pending for more than 20 years.

“This action also takes into account the importance of environmental sustainability in Selangor in line with the aspiration of being a smart, liveable and prosperous state,” he said in response to a StarMetro report on July 7 where Shah Alam Community Forest (SACF) questioned the Selangor government’s move to degazette 406.2ha of BCFR without the full procedure.

SACF honorary treasurer Dr Teckwyn Lim had said the degazettement contravened Selangor forestry laws, which state that a public hearing must precede a degazettement, and that the state government had “excised” a big chunk of BCFR on May 5 this year.

Ahmad Fadzil said the degazettement of BCFR was also alleged to not have gone through a public hearing process in accordance with Section 11, Selangor Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985 that was amended by the state government in 2011.

“The Selangor Forestry Department would like to clarify that the degazettement of the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve on May 5, 2022 was to complete the degazettement process which stopped around 2006.

“According to Section 13, Selangor Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985, the state authority must make it known of any area in permanent forest reserves that have been degazetted,” he said.

Based on records, he explained that there had been a series of degazettements of BCFR that occurred between 1991 and 2006, including an area of 406.22ha.

“Various possibilities could have been factors that resulted in the degazettement of the area depending on the production stage of the Pelan Warta (Excise Plan) only, namely PW1443.”

As such, he said the degazettment issued on May 5 this year that was backdated was to refer to the decision of the Selangor State Executive Council in 2000, where this action was also implemented after taking into account the reviews from the Selangor State Legal Advisory Chamber.