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No illegal logging at Tawau geothermal plant site: Pang

Published on: Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tawau: Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming (pic) on Saturday denied claims of illegal logging activities at the Andrassy Forest Reserve in Tawau Hill Park (at the geothermal power plant site).

He said no illegal logging activities were found after monitoring and surveillance works carried out by Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Parks.

Responding to the claims by Sri Tanjong Assemblyman Chan Foong Hin who is also DAP Sabah vice chief, Pang also said there were no such alleged illegal logging activities based on their calculations of the volume of logs.

"The calculation showed the volume of logs felled is still reasonable so far. In fact, a total of 400 hectares of which 370 hectares belong to Sabah Parks and 30 hectares to the department have 56,000 cubic metres capacity of logs. The logging trucks are only allowed on the road within 7am to 7pm.

"As we all know, the department had identified and stopped an alleged illegal logging activity outside Sabah Parks through surveillance by a helicopter recently," he said in a press conference here, Saturday.

Meanwhile, Pang also invited the people to show proof to the enforcement agency if they found any illegal logging activities.

However, he believed there was none since no proper evidence have been put forward so far.

He added that in term of prevention, the department and Sabah Parks would continue to carry out monitoring and surveillance works before the logs are felled from time to time.

Chan had urged the Forestry Department and Sabah Parks to conduct a visit to the geothermal power plant project site as there was suspicion of logs being felled on the pretext of clearing the area.