By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, October 3, 1991:
Selangor State Exco’s total turn-about on the golf course project means that the Zoo Negara would have to shift or face progressive environmental destruction and shows the power of the vested interests of the golf course developers in Malaysia today
The announcement by the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad Taib, after the Selangor State Exco meeting yesterday that the golf course and condominium projects near zoo Negara would proceed has come as a shock to all Malaysians for three reasons:
Firstly, it was a total turn-about of the Selangor State Government’s stand as announced by the Selangor Mentri Besar last Friday that it would stop the development projects near the Zoo Negara in Ampang/Hulu Klang if there is encroachment of the water catchment area of Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve.
Secondly, the decision of the Selangor State Exco is a total deficance of the wishes of the Sultan of Selangor who had ordered an immediate halt of the golf course and condominium projects last Saturday to protect Zoo Negara.
Thirdly, the Selangor State Exco decision shows vividly the power of the vested interesta of the golf course developers in Malaysia today, who could compel the Selangor State Government to give greater priority to their interest6s than the interests of the people of Malaysia as well as future generations.
The decision of the Selangor State Exco yesterday means that Zoo Negara would have to shift or face progressive environmental destruction and shows the power of the vested interests of the developers of expensive and exclusive golf course clubs in Malaysia today.
Call for an inquiry as to how the Selangor Exco could give approval for the golf course and condominium projects without approval from Department of Environment
Last Friday, when Tan Sri Muhammad said that the Selangor Government would stop the golf course project if there is an encroachment of the water catchment area of Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve.
Tan Sri Muhammad said that the State Government had not received any report from the relevant government departments on the matter. He also said that the Department of Environment (DOE) had not submitted its report on the project to the State Government.
However, when Tan Sri Muhammad announced that the State Exco had decided to continue to give the ‘go ahead’ to the golf course and condominium projects, it is significant that he idi not say that the DOE had given its approval for the two projects.
The important question is how the Selangor Mentri Besar and the Selangor State Exco could give their approval to the golf course and condominium projects when the DOE had not given its report on the projects or their approval? Furthermore, how could the State Exco review and stick to its original decision following the public controversy, without asking for the report of the DOE?
If the Selangor State Government and Mentri Besar themselves have no respect for environmental concerns of the country, which has been highlighted by the haze which had enveloped the country for the past few days, how can there be hope that there would be a clean and healthy environment for Malaysians and future generations?
It has been reported that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Lost Horizon golf course club indicates that there will be serious environmental damage to the Zoo Negara and the flora and fauna in the area, especially those in the Klang Gates Wildlife Reserve.
In a statement in the local press yesterday, the Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Law Hieng Ding, said that it would be an offence for the developers to begin work on the two projects without approval from the Department of Environment.
As no one had up to date said that the golf course and condominium projects had been given the ‘green light’ by the Department of Environment, the question is why has the Selangor Mentri Besar become a champion for the golf course project?
DAP calls for an inquiry as to how the Selangor Mentri Besar and State Exco could give approval to the golf course and condominium projects without approval from the Department of Environment.
DAP calls for the EIA reports on the two projects to be made public, and also calls on the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment to make public the stand of the Department of Environment on these two projects.
The Department of Environment cannot keep its silence on the Zoo Negara any longer, or it will be seen to be aiding and abetting with the Selangor State Government and the developers to destroy the environment which will result in the destruction or shifting of Zoo Negara.