In August 2022, Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA Malaysia) and Persatuan Rimba Komuniti Shah Alam (SACF Society) jointly filed a Judicial Review of the degazettement through Messrs. Raj & Sach Solicitors to challenge the legality of a backdated document (explained below).
In 2020, a forest status study was carried out by SACF Society with funding from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme. This study led by forest expert Dr. Teckwyn Lim revealed that the Bukit Cherakah forest corridor has not been properly degazetted as alleged by the Selangor government. This is because, no official notification was published in the Selangor Gazette.
Yet since 2000 land titles from this area were handed out to various developers and to date about 25% of the forest area have been destroyed for mixed development (refer to chronology table below).
Hence, the 406-hectares (1,003 acres) forest corridor which includes the Shah Alam Community Forest is still officially part of the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve. Subsequently, any development within this area is deemed unlawful.
The SACF Society had officially handed over this information to the Selangor State Government, and made many other attempts to engage with the state Executive Council (EXCO). Despite their efforts, the authorities have not responded with any efforts to uphold the law and reinstate this area as a protected forest reserve.
Instead, on May 2022, a notification was published in the Selangor Gazette backdating the degazettement of the forest corridor by 22 years to 20 Nov 2000. According to the Selangor forestry director, this was done to “resolve matters that were delayed over 20 years ago”.
We believe that this action by the Selangor State Government is in direct contravention of the law, not legally tenable and procedurally improper.
Judicial Review Plaintiffs:
- Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA Malaysia)
- Persatuan Rimba Komuniti Shah Alam (SACF Society)
Judicial Review Respondents:
- Selangor State Executive Council
- Director of the Selangor branch of the National Forestry Department
- Director of the Selangor Department of Lands and Mines
- Government of the State of Selangor