Published on: Friday, September 13, 2013
"Some 30 years ago there were programmes to plant trees of different species for the vicinity of Kota Kinabalu, but now many of the trees have been cut down," he said, Thursday.
He said the move to cut down the trees which were planted during a widely publicised programme with public funds does not reflect seriousness by the Government to fulfil the desire to make Kota Kinabalu a rainforest city.
"In Menggatal town recently, some healthy 20 trees have been cut down by City Hall and that members of the public were rather displeased.
Those trees should not have been planted in the first place if they were not for any good purpose and only to be cut down after nearly 30 years," he lamented.
"The trees did not pose threats to properties nor to the public who come down to the town to do business, as far as I know. Yet the trees were cut down for no apparent reason except for maybe to give opening for new purposes but why not look for other space?" he asked.
Vun added that as a result of the cutting down of the trees, adverse effects like intense heat now had cropped up bothering the people and shop owners in the area because there were no more trees to provide shade.
"Perhaps it would have been better if the authorities decided on plants which do not grow too huge in sizes and height for the city town areas, as those species would be easier to maintain.
"Upkeep, such as trimming of the extended branches, would be better instead of cutting down the trees completely making the city deprived of the intended purpose for planting the trees," he said.
He said the amount of money spent to finance the campaign and purchase of the tree seedlings was certainly not a small concern and by cutting down the trees now when they are matured is tantamount to a waste of funds.
According to Vun, City Hall claimed that some 4,047 trees have been planted in the vicinity of the city last year, of which 180 trees were in Kota Kinabalu town area, aimed further to plant one million trees but ironically many trees have been cut down at the same time.
"Planting the trees was a right decision but cutting them down after so many years is not right because that is opposed to the intended objective to have trees planted in the city area," he said, adding that City Hall and the local government should be consistent with their policies.
He said green vegetation is good as this could help create a healthy environment reducing the carbon impact emitted from the increasing number of vehicles in the city.
"City Hall cannot escape criticism from the public because they have the right to voice out their opinion and that is why before any programme or policy implementation there must be consultation to get collective opinion," he said.