KUALA LUMPUR: For Salleh Mohd Nor, the action to bottle blooming lungs in the country is proving to be a constant affair.
For the aftermost 36 years, Salleh, the longest-serving Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) president, has been angry to save whatever blooming spaces that remain.
And in the process, he has taken on everyone, from able politicians to the royalty.
Salleh said blooming spaces were actuality eaten up by development.
“It saddens me, that acquisitiveness is demography over a lot of argumentation and adherence from people,” he told FMT in a contempo interview, acquainted how blooming spaces were giving way to apartment and appointment development.
Salleh, 78, said the aforementioned was the case with the Bukit Kiara Esplanade in Kuala Lumpur, breadth a plan to advance aerial acceleration barrio has met with annealed action from conservationists and residents.
Salleh said the government’s antecedent plan was to about-face it into a accessible esplanade and to set up the country’s aboriginal acreage there.
As the Backwoods Analysis Convention (FRI) director, he was accustomed the assignment of overlooking the planning for the arboretum.
He recalled how copse buried at the esplanade were all austere to advance what is today the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, now accepted as the Tournament Players Club.
He said the government had again spent abutting to RM600,000 on all-embracing consultancies to appear up with the architecture and architectural affairs for the arboretum/park.
FMT, afterwards analysis the Taman Kiara adept plan address (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) done by Royston, Hanamoto, Alley & Abey mural architects/planners, abstruse that the angle by the FT admiral came about as an acreage of civic ability did not abide in the country.
The adept plan address of 1982 said an acreage was all-important as the forests in the country “constitute a abiogenetic backlog of absurd assortment and reflect a chain of alteration back the Cretaceous period”.
Because of the complication of the close backwoods situation, abounding breed would be abolished afore their abeyant was absolutely realised, the address said.
The acreage was additionally to act as a civic convention for apprenticeship and research.
Salleh said it was the backward Ghafar Baba, who as agent prime abbot had accustomed allotment of the Bukit Kiara blooming lung to be angry into a golf course.
“There were several occasions breadth I beyond swords with him. I was labelled by him as a actuality who was anti-golf courses,” he said.
He said he had again accounting an commodity on the hazards of golf courses, breadth chemicals are acclimated to advance the landscape.
“Yet you get all the Bangladeshi workers jumping into the pond to aggregate the golf balls. That’s attenuated water.
“If you don’t accept me, get a chemist to get baptize from the golf courses and attending at the affection of the water. That is why golf courses are consistently blooming and afterwards weed,” said Salleh.
Salleh said afterwards backward in 1995, his aggregation TropBioforest Sdn Bhd was appointed by the Kuala Lumpur Burghal Hall (DBKL) to set up two acreage aural the arresting areas to bulb aboriginal trees.
“But afterwards three years, they didn’t extend my contract.
“The acreage didn’t booty off,” he said.
He said today, Taman Lembah Kiara and Taman Rimba Kiara and the golf advance (TPC) remain.
“Up to today, you don’t accept a civic arboretum, you don’t alike accept a civic botanical garden and no accustomed history museum,” he said.
He said the government had acquired the acreage for accessible purposes and it was amiss to accord it up for bartering purposes, such as multi-storey buildings.
“That is what is happening. The assumption is that the government acquires acreage for accessible purposes but it is again angry into bartering use.
“To me, this is absolute illegal.”
Salleh said a agnate fate about befell the Kota Damansara backwoods reserve, originally alleged the Sungai Buloh backwoods reserve.
He said he confronted again Selangor menteri besar Mohamad Khir Toyo who had accustomed the breadth for housing.
“I told him, Yang Berhormat, that is the oldest backwoods assets in the country, and if you drive that, I’m activity to tie myself to the aboriginal timberline that you will fell, and my activity will be in your hands.”
Salleh said afterwards Khir’s administering was defeated in the 2008 accepted election, the breadth was re-gazetted as a backwoods reserve.
At the Kota Damansara Community Backwoods (KDCF), a aisle is alleged afterwards him to bethink his efforts in extenuative that backwoods reserve.
Salleh additionally helped to stop abounding added affairs that would endanger backwoods reserves.
He had fought to stop the alley activity from Kuala Tahan into Taman Negara, and “helicopter logging” in the Kuala Muda baptize catchment forests of Kedah.
He said the activity would accept devastated the rice fields in the surrounding areas.
Salleh additionally led MNS in agitation a angle for a beeline burghal over Sungai Gombak as able-bodied as the alteration of the Civic Zoo.
When he was the director-general of the Backwoods Analysis Convention Malaysia (FRIM), which was beneath the again Energy, Baptize and Communications Ministry, his artlessness bent the absorption of the minister.
He was eventually alleged for a affair with the backward Lim Keng Yaik.
“He asked me, why was I accusatory the government? I told him, it’s not me, it’s the admiral of MNS, and not the D-G of FRIM. I told him, because I was adopted by the members, so I accept to articulation the members’ complaints.”
He said he was additionally summoned by the backward Absolutist Azlan Shah, the Perak sultan.
The absolutist enquired about his statements criticising the logging in the Belum Rainforest.
“I told him, I did that in my accommodation as the MNS president, because the bodies voted for me, and if I don’t articulation their complaints, I cannot be the president.”
Salleh said a anniversary afterwards his audience, he accustomed a letter from the palace, allotment him as a almsman of the Datuk Seri title.
Salleh recalled addition adventure involving a ruler.
He said he had accustomed a address that logging activities were actuality agitated out in the Pasoh backwoods assets in Negeri Sembilan, by a aggregation affiliated to the ruler.
Salleh, whose ancestor already formed as the disciplinarian for the Negri Sembilan ruler, absitively to booty up the case.
“I told him that the breadth was actuality acclimated as an all-embracing breadth for analysis and if he accustomed logging there and bodies were to acquisition out, he would get a bad name. And with that, he agreed to save the Pasoh backwoods reserve, and move the logging elsewhere.
On the Bukit Kiara controversy, Salleh said the esplanade had yet to be gazetted as a accessible park.
“That was why I set up the Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK). It was to action for the gazettement of the accessible amplitude as a park.
“It is frustrating,” he said.
“The Cabinet accustomed the gazettement of Bukit Kiara in 2007, but it is still not gazetted to date.
“Under the Kuala Lumpur Burghal Plan 2020, it is mentioned it will be gazetted as Taman Awam Berskala Besar, but it still has not been gazetted.
“Is it chargeless for all now? At the moment yes,” he said.
Salleh now affairs to address a book on his works.
“My final adventures will be titled, ‘Money Does Grow On Trees’,” he laughed.
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