KUALA LUMPUR – Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel today denied the allegation that he has done nothing to solve the landslide problems in Cameron Highlands and said he is ready to meet the Sultan Ahmad Shah to give an explanation over the incident.
â€œI am ready to offer explanations to His Highness the Sultan of Pahang,â€ Palanivel said adding that he has held discussions with Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob over the incident.
Palanivel stressed that the government is committed to find a long term solution to prevent flash floods and landslides in Cameron Highlands in future.
â€œFlood disaster is a serious perennial issue for many years now. The recent deaths have only increased grave concern.
â€œAs an immediate measure, the government has allocated RM 40 million for flood mitigation for Bertam Valley,â€ said the Cameron Highlands MP in a statement to The Malaysian Times (TMT) today.
Palanivel was responding to Sultan Ahmad Shahâ€™s statement who questioned what the Minister has done to prevent landslides incidents.
â€œAs MP of Cameron Highlands since May 2013, I have been to Camerons many times. To say I have done nothing about this problem is wrong,â€ Palanivel added.
Palanivel pointed out that he had raised the issue of Cameron Highlands many times to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
â€œThe government takes a series view on illegal land clearing which has been going on. One more immediate effort to be taken in resolving this issue is an intensive tree planting project.
â€œBesides that, I have also requested funding from the Federal Government for the Ringlet river mitigation works,â€ he said.
Palanivel said that he has also held discussions with the district officer, the land office, the forestry department over the matter.
â€œThe immigration department is also taking action against illegal workers and their employers in Camerons.
â€œI have met at least 75 residents affected by flood and donated RM1000 each in view of the catastrophe.
Palanivel said that during the Cameron Highlands flood meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, it was resolved that a more concerted efforts should be taken which will prevent such occurrences in future.
STOP POINTING FINGERS
Palanivel said the matter needs serious attention and â€œnot just pointing fingers at each and othersâ€.
â€œMany things had already happened even before I was elected as MP. But I am sure we can rehabilitate Cameron Highlands and stop the massive environmental degradation that has happened.
â€œI have a good relationship with Sultan and Palace and I will explain everything to His Highness, both the good and bad.
â€œI am certain the Sultanâ€™s concern for the land and its Rakyat is genuine and his heart is always on their welfare,â€ said Palanivel.