The order is out to all state governments in Malaysia to gazette all water catchment areas as soon as possible. And once done, a total of 880,000ha would be gazetted as water catchment areas to meet the future water needs of Malaysians. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the authorities must use satellite photos and aerial surveillance to curb illegal logging in all forest reserves. He said the country’s water resources must be protected as demand for water was on the rise.
Malaysia had been recognised as one among the 12 countries in the world with rich biodiversity where there were 12,500 species of flower plants, 300 species of mammals, 750 species of birds, 350 species of reptiles, 165 species of amphibians, 300 species of freshwater fish and millions of invertebrates. Najib also said the council was getting the cooperation of the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing to supply satellite and aerial photographs to state governments to check on illegal logging activities.