KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants logging activities and clearing of forests be reduced to avoid disasters.
He said Malaysia had other sources of wealth which could generate national income and which would not cause environmental degradation.
“So, if we reduce logging, even if it is legal, we will get many benefits.
“We have seen the floods occurring in Kelantan and Terengganu – the East Coast states. One of the causes was the cutting of forest trees, so rain water came down straight from the hill slopes and not absorbed by the soil, resulting in floods.”
Dr Mahathir said this to reporters after visiting the digital project of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) and placing a plaque at the institute, yesterday to denote it as a national heritage.
FRIM was gazetted as a natural heritage site in 2009 and declared a national heritage in 2012.
Dr Mahathir said the people should learn lessons from the envi-ronmental disasters that occurred in the country and act by finding ways to preserve the flora and fauna.
Meanwhile, he expressed happ-iness that after 30 years since its establishment, FRIM was not only a site where various species of plants were found but also a popular recreation area for city dwellers.
“When we come here, we feel relaxed. The forest is still here and the plants all thrive,” he said.
This was Dr Mahathir’s second visit to FRIM after his first on June 11, 1984.