KUALA TERENGGANU: The people have been warned not to encroach government land and gather forest produce or risk being fined or jailed.
Terengganu Forestry Department Director Muhamad Abdullah issued this stern warning following reports that local residents have been actively clearing off trees in Group Farming application areas although they have yet to be given official permission to do so by the state government.
He said one such activity was detected last Thursday on government land in Kampung Pasir Semut, Kemaman, in which investigations found locals there have been clearing the land in stages over the last two months.
The department found stacks of forest produce comprising almost 200 pieces of logs and an excavator believed to have been used in the activity.
“Various other tree species worth RM21,000 were also found to have been cleared in this two-hectare area,” he told Bernama, here today.
The department will now increase enforcement patrols in all hotspots, including permanent forest reserves and government land, he said, adding that those caught will be investigated under section 15 (1) of the National Forestry Act 1984 which provides for a maximum fine of RM500,000 or a jail term of up to 20 years. - Bernama