Malaysia: Anti-Corruption Commission will crack down on illegal logging?

It is no wonder that forests and protected areas in the country are
often encroached on by illegal loggers. The very authorities who
should be nabbing the illegal loggers are protecting them. “They
close one eye while jungles are flattened and have allowed this to
happen for a long time.” The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission said
it would crack down on not only on loggers but officers in agencies
that have been in cahoots with them. Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad
Said Hamdan said the agencies in question include the Forestry
Department, Malaysian Timber Board, Customs, police and the Department
of Environment.

“You won’t believe what is happening to the forests in
the Klang Valley,” Ahmad Said said in an interview with the New Sunday
Times yester-day. “It has become so rampant and it is not only one
agency that is involved. “You name it, they have a part to play, and
these officers are only interested in making money.” He revealed that
these illegal loggers had even gone to the extent of adjusting the
delineation of forests reserves by hundreds of metres to cut down
trees that are hundreds of years old.

Ahmad Said said it was
unacceptable for enforcement agencies to claim that they were not in
the know of illegal clearing of land as it was impossible for
log-laden lorries to move about being unnoticed. “We are talking about
heavy machinery going into the jungle and coming out with huge logs
jutting out from the lorries.” In Sabah last year, the MACC, then
known as the Anti-Corruption Agency, intercepted a four-kilometre line
of lorries carrying logs. His officers were then told by the
authorities that all were “clear”, but upon conducting checks, it was
discovered that the felled logs worth millions of ringgit were
illegally sourced. “We are getting all the evidence and will get them
soon.” http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1Story20090125-117028.html

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