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Don’t destroy Taiping’s natural heritage

IPOH, 23 Jan 2009: The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) today called on the Perak government not to destroy Taiping’s natural heritage by going ahead with the proposed 6km cable car project to the top of Bukit Larut in the township.

Fomca president Datuk Marimuthu Nadason said the state government had repeatedly been reminded on the sensitive ecosystem in Bukit Larut and the effects the project would have on its flora and fauna and water catchment area.

“It is the responsibility of any government to ensure the protection and preservation of the ecosystem for the benefit of future generations. The government has a role of safeguarding the future of society. So, do not destroy the Taiping people’s heritage,” he said in a memorandum to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin with copies faxed to media offices here.

A copy of the memorandum which calls for the cable car project to be stopped, was also each sent to the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Doughlas Unggah Embas and Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.

It is stated in the memorandum that besides being a water catchment area and gazetted as a forest reserve in 1910, Bukit Larut’s location in a high-risk area according to the “erosion risk” map, is among the justifications not to go ahead with the cable car project.

“The stability of the cable car poles will be a big question, while there will also be a higher risk of landslips occurring if the hillslope is disturbed,” Marimuthu further said in the memorandum.

He said the Perak government stressed on the project without also considering the effects of the increased number of tourists to Bukit Larut with the existence of a cable car service.

“More tourists means more solid waste and rubbish left by them, besides causing disturbance to the animal species in the area.

“Fomca totally disagrees with the Perak government’s plan without a careful study carried out. Such an environment should be enjoyed in its natural form with no disturbance.

“It is the responsibility of all to ensure that our natural resources and heritage are protected and used intelligently for our future generations to also enjoy them,” he added.

The cable car project for Bukit Larut was first proposed in 1997 but the idea was abandoned in 2007 after a protest memorandum was sent to the then Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

However, on 15 Jan this year, state Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transportation Committee chairperson Nga Kor Ming announced that the Perak government had approved the project.

Nga said the project was expected to start soon and be completed in a year, thus becoming another draw for tourists to visit Perak. — Bernama



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