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Netizens express shock over pictures of bare forest near Kota Tinggi waterfall

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 26/9/2021 Fahmi Yusof
This satellite image of the Kota Tinggi waterfall area shows the extent of clearing of jungles, said to be for iron ore mining. (Google Earth pic) © Provided by Free Malaysia Today This satellite image of the Kota Tinggi waterfall area shows the extent of clearing of jungles, said to be for iron ore mining. (Google Earth pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Netizens have been abuzz over satellite pictures depicting bare hills in an area said to be near Johor’s Kota Tinggi waterfall, where it once was covered by trees.

Netizens expressed shock at the images shared by Twitter user @radinmikah in a thread of posts, which were shared more than 200 times by others.

One of the pictures displayed a panoramic view of the area. Radin said it showed the waterfall on one side and what looked to be a mining area on the other.

FMT is awaiting confirmation on the matter from local authorities.

However, Faris Jasma, a community activist, claimed that the trees had already been chopped down and the land near the waterfall cleared when he last visited the area before the second movement control order (MCO) was enforced in the middle of January.

According to him, the bare land could even be seen before passing through the archway leading to the resort at the waterfall.

Another look at the waterfall site in Kota Tinggi. (Google Earth pic) © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Another look at the waterfall site in Kota Tinggi. (Google Earth pic)

“Actually, what we’re seeing is quarrying activities for iron ore. The quarry has been here for a long time,” he said.

Faris claimed that in 2010, the road leading to the resort was covered in dust while the water in Sungai Pelepah, which flows from the Kota Tinggi waterfall, was yellowish in colour.

He said this were believed to be caused by the mining, adding that the resort’s staff were aware of the quarrying activities going on there.

“When there are projects that can affect the environment in the area, any government would know that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report will need to be filed.

“But did this project have an EIA?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Nature Society president Ahmad Ismail said logging activities and land clearings should be halted if it was still ongoing, especially with the monsoon season on the horizon.

He said the rainy season was a good time to monitor the effects of these logging activities, questioning if the annual floods in the state had any links to such land clearings.

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