KUANTAN, Oct 1 — The Pahang Forestry Department has denied claims of illegal gold mining or large-scale exploration activities taking place in the Lakum Forest Reserve in Lanchang — about 140 kilometers from here — made on social networking site Facebook, yesterday.
The department in a media statement here today, also rejected allegations made by the owner of the Facebook account “Wartawan Tua” that the exploration was done for the cultivation of a durian variety which may not be “halal”.
“The post claims there are many illegal gold mines being run under logging and sand mining permits, when the matter of fact is there are illegal gold mines in the Lakum Forest Reserve.
“Investigations also found that no sand mining permits have been issued in the Lakum Forest Reserve. This is based on a review and survey of the location referred to in the allegation,” said the department, adding that it took its task of maintaining the forest reserves seriously.
Yesterday, a former journalist who claims to be an environmental activist uploaded a status on Facebook saying that he received many complaints with pictures about the large-scale destruction of forest reserves in Lanchang, which is said to have started a few years ago. — Bernama