PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) will assist in the restoration of the Kuala Langat Utara Forest Reserve (HSKLU), said its minister, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

He said the ministry welcomed the Selangor government’s decision to stop the proposed development of a 536.7 hectare site in HSKLU, which was degazetted recently, and it’s move to re-gazette the area as a Permanent Forest Reserve.

Takiyuddin said the ministry had instructed the Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department and the Department of Minerals and Geoscience to cooperate in assisting the Selangor government to preserve and restore the HSKLU area.

“The HSKLU area is a peat swamp forest, (this cooperation) is to ensure its function in maintaining the ecosystem is preserved, as well as to prevent fire,“ he said in a statement today.

On Sept 8, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari announced that only 42 hectares of the 536.7 hectares of HSKLU area would remain degazetted.

Amirudin said the move was to facilitate ownership to Kampung Orang Asli Busut Baru to resolve issues that had been pending since 2006 following their relocation from their original settlement in 1994 to make way for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Takiyuddin said the ministry welcomed the involvement of all parties, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the local community, to restore the HSKLU forest reserve.

The ministry, he said, also welcomed the Selangor government’s decision to maintain the status of a ​​579.64-hectare replacement area as permanent forest reserves, covering Sungai Panjang Forest Reserve, Buloh Telor Barat Forest Reserve, Buloh Telor Timur Forest Reserve and Broga Forest Reserve.

“This is in line with the Malaysian government’s intention to ensure that at least 50 percent of the country’s land area is covered by forest,“ he added. — Bernama