Kelantan MB Insists That Heavy Rain is Behind The Recent Flood, Not Logging

(source: MalaysiaKini)

Recently, many Malaysian raised their concerns regarding logging and deforestation in Malaysia ever since the massive flooding devastated parts of the country including Kelantan.

According to Sinar Harian, the Kelantan government explained that logging is not the main cause of the third flooding phase. The state’s Menteri Besar, Datuk Ahmad Yakob said that the floods were due to heavy rainfall from the northeast monsoon.

“Other states are similar, Pahang is flooded, Johor is flooded and Terengganu is flooded, now the floods are stopping in Kelantan,” Ahmad told reporters yesterday (7 Jan).

He also mentioned that it would be unfair to say a certain state does not participate in logging when all states do.

“All states are seeking resources, however, we are not taking all of the resources,” he said.

Deforestation in Gua Musang, Kelantan. (source: Cilisos)

For the past ten years, Kelantan has earned a reputation for excessive logging and expansion of durian plantations that have infringed on Orang Asli land. Between 2001 and 2018, Kelantan has lost 28% of tree coverage due to rampant deforestation, with Tanah Merah and Gua Musang accounting for 71% of it.

Just last year, Kelantan has been facing severe flooding situations and it’s often been attributed to excessive logging, whether legal or illegal in Kelantan’s forest reserves.

According to FMT, the number of evacuees in five flood-affected districts increased to 4,829 today compared with 2,142 on 6 Jan. For now, they are seeking shelter at 64 relief centres. Jeli still has the highest number of victims with 1,688, followed by Kuala Krai (1,455), Gua Musang (775), Pasir Mas (469) and Tanah Merah (442).

Pasir Mas, Kelantan (source: Utusan)

As of yesterday, five rivers in the state – Sungai Lebir and Sungai Kelantan in Kuala Krai; Sungai Kelantan in Kusial, Tanah Merah; Sungai Golok in Jenob and in Rantau Panjang; and Sungai Galas in Dabong – recorded readings which exceeded the danger level.