IPOH, June 22 - Pertubuhan Sahabat Ekologi Perak (PSEP) today slammed the Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation's (MPOGCF) general manager Zamakhshari Muhamad for what it called baseless accusations against environmental organisations.
The environmentalists in a statement said that Zamakhshari’s accusation that its fellow groups are being manipulated by certain parties with vested interests to tarnish the image of palm oil and its producers is baseless.
"So, which group or certain groups including environmentalists is he accusing? The intention of this blatant and baseless accusation seems only to paint a negative perception of environmental non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Malaysia,” it said.
On June 17, Zamakhshari’s was quoted saying in a local paper that the environmental groups are sponsored by certain parties to claim that palm oil farming is destroying forests and endangering wildlife such as orang utan.
PSEP said Zamakhshari has to be accountable for his statement and should name the specific groups in his allegations rather than relying on hearsay and creating rumours.
"The statement that alleges palm oil plantations do in fact destroys forests is based on academic research," it said, referring to a journal by the History Department of University of Malaya and a Land Use Map published by Land Resource Management and Conservation Division, Department of Agriculture.
"It is a fact that the destruction of forests for the purpose of palm oil plantations not only threatens the orang utan population in Indonesia, but also endangers the general wildlife population especially large mammals such as elephants, various species of tigers, the Sumatran rhinos, tapirs just to name a few in Peninsular Malaysia,” it said.