|Khoo Kay Peng | Jun 27, 08 12:27pm|
Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak’s insistent on going ahead with logging at the state’s catchment areas has exposed a teething weakness of Pakatan Rakyat.
Concerned environmental groups have said that the move could see the cutting down of one million trees. A possible lack of enforcement may threaten these areas and cause an irreparable damage to the environment and ecosystem. At present, Perlis and Penang source more than 80 percent of their water supply from Kedah.
Earlier, Azizan has justified his move over the failure of the federal government to compensate the state a total of RM100 million to disallow logging in the areas. The MB has made an about turn when he announced his intention to go ahead regardless being paid or not.
Despite a strong opposition from Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, his fellow PR colleague, who called the move ‘a disaster’, there is very little he can do to prevent Azizan from going ahead with the plan.
It is obvious that the newly minted coalition does not have a federal structure to address and mitigate disputes arising from differences such as this one which affects the interest of its neighbours. Disputes and disagreements if left unmitigated may threaten unity in Pakatan Rakyat.
Reflect mutual respect
BN, for its own political expediency, will not jump in to soothe the situation and offer Kedah its RM100 million. Kedah Umno Youth has already started to criticize the move. Earlier, Azizan had announced that Kedah will be charging for its water supply. Perhaps, this is a better move for the state. Obviously, both Penang and Perlis cannot expect to get their water supply for free. Both states will have to work out a fair compensation to Kedah for the water supplied to them.