Friday, January 21

Cameron Highlands: Residents should relocate to higher ground, says Dawos


KUALA LUMPUR: All residents in the low-lying areas of Cameron Highlands need to relocate to higher ground to avoid suffering from another round of mud floods and landslides.

Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit said the time had come for the federal government and Pahang government to discuss the matter with the affected residents for the relocation to take place as soon as possible.

“The problem of flash floods and landslides may recur with the uncertain weather condition and heavy rain occuring in the country due to climate change and global warming. This disaster of flash floods and landslides will not be the last (in Cameron Highlands),” he said when met at the Parliament lobby, here, yesterday.

The mud floods and landslides happening in Kampung Raja, Ringlet town and Bertam Valley in Cameron Highlands last Wednesday took the lives of five people and resulted in 90 victims from 28 families to be evacuated to a relief centre in Ringlet.

Dawos said it was difficult for the Department of Environment (DOE) to take action against those involved in illegal land clearing for farming in Cameron Highlands as the matter came under the jurisdiction of the Pahang government.

He said only the Pahang government could act against illegal land clearing there.

“After the mud floods and overflowing of the dam water happened, the ministry suggested the formation of an enforcement team comprising people from DOE and the District and Land Office but this could not be realised.”

He said the ministry did not have the legal power to set up such an enforcement team although the main aim was to assist the state government in tackling the problem. — Bernama