Correcting some misleading statements in The Star’s reports on the Save Langat South campaign.
The Star recently featured some reports, on the proposal to convert Langat South Peat Forest Reserve into commercial oil palm plantations. These two reports titled “Preserving Kuala Langat South Peat Swamp Forest” and “Many speak up to save south peat swamp forest” were published in the Metro Section on 11 and 12 January respectively. The second article took a quote from a LoyarBurok article published on 6 January, “Save Langat South!” which was jointly written by Yap Jin Rui and I.
While I am glad The Star picked up this issue and gave it such generous two days’ air time, there are a few points in these articles which I found untrue and misleading, which I would like to clarify.
“Preserving Kuala Langat South Peat Swamp Forest” mentioned that the Selangor Government had approved a Selangor State Agricultural Corporation’s proposal to turn the entire swamp forest into an oil palm estate was not true. As far as I am concerned and as at press time, no approval has been given, and the state government is still reviewing proposals from all parties. In fact we think the state government, after receiving a conversion proposal by the Agricultural Corporation, has done the right thing by asking for a counter proposal on justify keeping the reserve.
The photo captioned “All will be gone soon: An excavator at work at the Kuala Langat South Peat Swamp Forest” is also very misleading as the photo clearly shows an excavator working on an area growing with oil palm. The area in the photo should be a reserved area degazetted or encroached earlier for oil palm plantation. This degraded area is unlikely to be covered by the current #SaveLangatSouth movement. Using this photo in this context is extremely misleading.
The article “Many speak up to save south peat swamp forest” is also self contradicting. The writer, in the first paragaph questioned the state government’s NON-ACTION on this matter, but at the same time picked up MNS statement saying that they are still working on an inventory study with the Selangor government, Selangor Forestry Department, Perhilitan, and FRIM. This is again extremely misleading for readers who are not involved in the Save Langat South movement.
I am not a very active member for the Save Langat South movement, but for the few instances I am on this matter, the people I’ve worked with were from the Selangor State government and the Selangor Forestry Department. And to say that there was no action by the Selangor government was a very unfair conclusion by The Star.
Again, while I am glad that Save Langat South is finally getting some publicity from a mainstream publication, I still think The Star should have been more careful, done more thorough research, and spoken to people involved in this, before publishing this report, which has now became a very misleading piece.
Please help spread the news, NO approval is given yet. Continue to support #SaveLangatSouth by clicking here.
Chow Pong sells black in the day and turns green at night; “I fade in and out of existence; and I walk both worlds, to deliver the message in completeness.”
UPDATE: The Star has today published an article “Selangor MB says forest trees may be replanted at Langat South” in which the Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, confirms that no decision has been made to convert the Kuala Langat South peat swamp forest into an oil palm estate, and that the state government is presently studying the issues.