SHOCK ARRESTS: DETENTION OF FOREIGN JOURNALISTS IN KELANTAN FOREST RESERVE INTENSIFIES TALK OF MASSIVE CORRUPTION, ILLEGAL LOGGING

KOTA BARU – The Kelantan Forestry Department (JPNK) has detained a journalist and a cameraman from a foreign news agency on suspicion of illegally entering the state’s Permanent Forest Reserve in Gua Musang.

The men, aged 36 and 46, believed to be working for a Singapore-based news agency were detained about 9am today.

JPNK director Datuk Zahari Ibrahim said the suspects were detected encroaching the forest area with the supposed intention of recording footages for television coverage on the stand-off between the orang asli community and the authorities when the former set up blockades to prevent logging firms from entering the area.

They were picked up on suspicion of entering the forest reserve without authorisation under Section 47 (1) of the National Forestry Act 1984 (Amendment 1993), he told Bernama here.

Yesterday, five individuals believed to be orang asli activists were nabbed on suspicion of masterminding the illegal blockade at the HSK in Gua Musang.

They were picked up in an operation to demolish the illegal blockade at the entrance to the forest reserve.

The operation involved 133 JPNK officers and personnel, 8th Battalion, General Operations Force in Pengkalan Chepa and the Royal Malaysian Police.

“This operation was conducted as the orang asli community still refused to comply with a warning related to the blockade, issued by JPNK on Nov 29, last year,” Zahari said in statement here today.

He said the orang asli was believed to be led by the Network of Kelantan Orang Asli Villages. — Bernama

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