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Jamal reports encroachment of wetlands to MACC

Selangor Umno leader accuses Selangor government of abusing power to approve development project at Paya Indah Wetlands.


SHAH ALAM: Jamal Yunos, the Selangor Umno gadfly who has protested about water cuts wrapped in a towel, threatened to close down illegal gambling dens and massage parlours and carried coffins to highlight alleged misappropriation of funds, was at it again today.

This time, he accused the Selangor government and forestry department of abuse of power in approving a development project at the Paya Indah Wetlands in Dengkil.

Jamal, the chairman of a loose coalition of NGOs, lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that private developer Gamuda Berhad had encroached into a forest reserve located beside Paya Indah Wetlands and dug earth to fill its development site.

He claimed the company’s action was approved by the state government and forestry department.

“The project did not follow guidelines and failed to fulfil 135 conditions but the state government passed it,” he told reporters after filing his complaint at the Shah Alam office of MACC.

Minister of Housing, Local Government and Urban Well-being Noh Omar was reported last month to have questioned how the project could be started without approval from the National Physical Development Council.

Noh, who is Selangor Umno chairman, said the land adjacent to Paya Indah Wetlands had been gazetted for agriculture, and several menteris besar in the past had rejected applications to develop the area.

However, he claimed, the land status was converted after a change of menteri besar.

Noh was reported on May 7 as saying the documents to develop the area at Paya Indah Wetlands were not submitted at a meeting between the National Physical Development Council and state representatives last month because various agencies felt the project would impact negatively on the area’s ecosystem.

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