Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
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'Hill cutting and clearing rampant in Penampang'

Published on: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Penampang: The government has been urged to assist the SPCA KK here whose centre is flooded by mud each time there is heavy downpour due to the cutting and clearing activities on the hill behind the centre.

In making the call, activist, Christopher Masudal also asked whether there is any law regulating the hill cutting and clearing in the State which the landowner and contractor must adhere to before proceeding with such activities.

"If there is such a law, then what is the justification for the government to allow the hill which is located just next to the centre being cut and cleared?" he asked.

Masudal opined that most people in the district would be very interested to know about the guidelines, the authority who approves such activity and which department can they go to lodge their complaints.

"The landowners of these hills have the rights to develop their own lands but such development should not be at the expense of others who will suffer in term of property damages due to the mud-flooding caused by the cutting and clearing.

"So it is only logical for the State government to educate the public about this since once a hill is being cleared, the damage caused by it could reach up to thousands of ringgit.

"This is more so since hill cutting and clearing activities are becoming rampant the district due to numerous private development projects taking place here," he said.

Masudal also requested the State government or any organisation to immediately extend its assistance to SPCA KK since the centre had been doing a great and noble job of rescuing, rehabilitating and finding new owners for stray animals in the district and Kota Kinabalu areas.

"By the look of it, it may be too late now to save the centre since the hill cutting and clearing activities have already completed and several of the cages have already been inundated in sand and soil up to two feet due to continuous mud-flooding.

"However, they can still help SPCA KK by finding and securing them a new area for them to operate since the condition at the centre is getting worse, to the extent that even their vehicles got stuck in the compound because of the mud," he explained.

In the meantime, he said, there must be a firm commitment from the State government to ensure that all hill cutting and clearing activities in the State are regulated.