Malaysia: More gaharu trees felled

The Star 20 Mar 12;

GEORGE TOWN: Officers from the state Forestry Department stumbled upon 14 felled agarwood (gaharu) trees during an inspection with a Penang Hash House Harriers (PHHH) member in a hilly area in Fettes Park, Tanjung Tokong.

Department director Abdul Wahab Deraman said they went into the area yesterday after a group of PHHH members had complained that some men were chopping down the trees during a Harriers run on March 15.

At press time, the officers were still up the hill.

“We believe the trees were felled about two months ago before we formed enforcement teams to track down culprits under Ops Jejak Karas.

“Our initial checks showed there is a possibility that the affected area is state-owned land,” he said yesterday.

PHHH member Gurdial Singh, who accompanied the forest rangers, said the department had requested help from the Harriers to monitor such illegal activities.

“This is because we are constantly running at various places around Penang island,” he said.

On Saturday, The Star reported that a group of PHHH runners stumbled upon several men, who looked like foreigners, chopping down some trees.

On Feb 12, Sunday Star reported on the illegal felling of the highly-valued trees in the rainforest near the Penang Botanic Gardens and several other places.