4.09 million people 's lives threatened by Ulu Muda logging: PBAPP

03 Oct 2018 / 00:02 H.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) has alerted that 4.09 million people from three states will be impacted from the logging activities in Ulu Muda's rainforests.
PBAPP chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa stated that nearly 74% of the rainforests in Ulu Muda was gazetted for timber production, which was supposed to serve as a crucial water catchment area for the northern region.
Jaseni described the logging of the rainforests in Ulu Muda 'like cutting off one own's leg', as he highlighted that over 80% of Penang's raw water, as well as 96% of Kedah's raw water and 70% of Perlis' raw water supply was sourced from the rainwater collected in Ulu Muda's rainforests.
"Not only 4.09 million people from the three states will be affected, but also a total of RM115 billion worth of economic activities will be lost, which is also 10% of Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," he said during a public talk in Wawasan Open University, here today.
He urged that all logging activities in Ulu Muda be banned and gazette a law to protect Ulu Muda as a water catchment area for northern region, as well as to ensure legal protection covering the entire Greater Ulu Muda rainforest area spanning a total of 163,103ha.
Meanwhile, Jaseni also hoped that Perak could come to an agreement with Kedah and Penang regarding the water transfer plan from Sungai Perak.
He stated that Penang's main source of water, Sungai Muda, would only be able to supply Penang's demand for water until 2025, therefore, the Penang government had sought to extract raw water from Sungai Perak since 2009, so that Penang will have sustainable water supply which will last until 2050.
"The conflict is that Perak wants to sell treated water from Sungai Perak to Penang whereas Penang proposes to have raw water instead," he said. — Bernama


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