JOHOR BARU (BERNAMA) – Eighteen people are believed to have entered and hiked in the Panti Forest Reserve, Kota Tinggi without a permit on December 20.
The Johor Forestry Department said it had received a complaint on the illegal entry and hiking activity by the group of individuals via email and found photos of their deeds on a Facebook page titled “Austin Glenn-Hiking Johor”.
Following this, it lodged a police report and urged the hikers involved to give a statement to the Kota Tinggi Forest Rangers Office within a week, before it takes further action under the law.
“For public information, the Panti Forest Reserve’s hiking and recreation area is under the management or supervision of the department, and the hike participants are suspected of having entered the forest reserve without a permit.
“This action is an offence under Section 47 of Act 313 (National Forestry Act 1984) which is punishable with a fine not exceeding MYR10,000 or a jail term of not more than
three years or both, upon conviction,” the Johor Forestry Department posted on its Facebook page yesterday.
It advised the public to follow the laws and regulations on entering any forest reserve and added that any hiking or recreational activities there would first require a valid permit.
Meanwhile, Kota Tinggi district police chief, Superintendent Hussin Zamora confirmed having received the report on Friday and said it would be referred to the police station in Batu Ampat as the incident happened in the area.