How You Can Help Save Kuala Langat Forest Reserve & The Temuan People

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

The indigenous people of Temuan need your help.

The Selangor State Government is planning to degazette the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve.

This means that it won’t have the status of a Forest Reserve anymore and can be deforested for development.

Why Does the State Gov Want to Degazette North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve?

The rationale that Amirudin Shari, Minister of Selangor, put forth was that 40% of the forest is already ruined by forest fires.

So state gov would rather cut down more of the forest to prevent more forest fires from happening rather than protecting the biodiversity in it.

The North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve is a peat swamp forest. It’s naturally wet and fire-resistant.

But everything changed when the human nation attacked.

We’re seeing forest fires on peatlands mainly because we’re draining the peatlands and cutting down the trees to make the area more suitable for agriculture or habitation.

With the said forest reserve being surrounded by mixed development (PKNS & Gamuda), the so-called “natural fires” may have started just outside the forest and/or the lack of density of the peatland meant that it had little strength to resist the fire.

Why Should You Care?

Selangor is mostly developed. And it’s not like the state wants to cut down all remaining forests. They still intend to keep at least 30% of the land as forest reserves.

So why bother?

Well, if the state government proposes to tear down your house to build a skyscraper (sound familiar?), wouldn't you be angry or sad?

This is what the Temuan people are fighting for.

They are fighting to keep their home, the land that they’ve depended and thrived on for 120 years.

A loss of their home would mean a loss of human rights and land rights.

Furthermore, cutting down forest has been known to release carbon dioxide and contributes to the warming effect of the Earth.

With temperatures rising and the world literally fighting climate change, degazetting and developing more forests would not help in this cause.

You might not feel it now but climate change impacts will affect all our lives from heatwaves to flooding.

You may eventually lose your comfortable home and may not have food to eat.

Without a home, we may not be able to achieve our higher goals or fight for what we believe in.

What Can You Do?

A group of people are working hard to defend the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve which was gazetted in the 1920s

But they need our help.

They need the numbers and our collective voices to plead to the 77 State Assembly Representatives and Ministers of Parliament to sign a commitment document that supports the sanctity of the forest reserve.

You don’t need to write an email from scratch or telephone the ministers (well, you can but it will take a bit of your time).

Here’s what you can do in less than 5 minutes:

  1. Go to Greenpeace Malaysia website page here.

  2. Scroll down and click “Hantar e-mel”.

  3. Fill in your name and email address.

  4. Review the email and click “Hantar e-mel”.

Also, please share this info with your friends and family.

Continue the Conversation

Many thanks to my friend Aroe Ajoeni and Klima Action Malaysia for shedding light onto this pertinent issue.

I know there are SO many issues in Malaysia and we may not have the capacity to act upon all of them. But with hype and conversation, we may just care a bit more.

If you don’t know what issues to care about, I’d suggest looking into climate change as its impacts would affect all other movements sooner or later.

And if we don’t help our fellow neighbours in need, who would help us when we’re in need?