Former Kota Bharu MP Zaid Ibrahim has labelled the Kelantan government as being “lazy” for making logging its main source of revenue.
The former de facto law minister said the PAS-led Kelantan government appeared to be taking the easy way out to get revenue, as if there were no other sources of income aside from logging.
“The Kelantan government is a lazy government. They look for the easy way out and do not make any other effort. To me, there is no excuse,” he told FMT.
“It is bad enough that the trees have been cut down; there is no replanting.
“They know they do not get oil royalties, they should have looked at other revenue sources.”
Zaid was commenting on Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah’s statement yesterday that logging in Kelantan could only be stopped if the Federal Government paid the state oil royalties.
Amar had told FMT that timber was the main source of revenue for the state and that the recent logging in Gua Musang did not constitute an encroachment as the loggers received concessions to extract timber from the Balah Permanent Forest Reserve.
Zaid said the Kelantan government should emulate Norway, Sweden and Finland if it wanted to continue logging activities.
“In other countries, they carry out replanting, but in Kelantan, they only know how to extract.
“That is the problem. There is no need to pin the blame on the lack of oil royalties.
“They (Kelantan government) only know how to cover ladies’ tight clothing — that is what it is busy doing.
“The state government must think about the economy and not just tight clothing.”
Meanwhile, Kelantan Umno Liaison Secretary Hanafi Mamat said Amar’s statement on logging being the state’s main resource was akin to a statement one would make at a coffee shop as it was too simplistic about an issue that would have long-term implications.
Kelantan has to find new alternatives to generate revenue. Exploiting natural resources for an extended period will have a negative effect on the lives of people, wildlife and the environment, he said.
“The massive floods we suffered in 2014 must serve as a lesson.
“New sectors have to be developed and upgraded, such as tourism, manufacturing, IT, livestock, farming, education and food industries.”
Last week, an Orang Asli almost lost his leg when 160 Orang Asli and the Kelantan Orang Asli Network (JKOAK) tried to defend a blockade from being demolished by 30 men and three uniformed police officers at the Simpor Orang Asli settlement near Gua Musang.
JKOAK Secretary Mustafa Along, 29, alongside two other Orang Asli men, Manglo Tegau, 24, and Salim Tegau, 31, were also arrested for refusing to cooperate with the authorities, but have since been released.
Adam Abu Bakar