the latest pet project of the government -- a 240-km highway that proposes to join several hill resorts of Malaysia is threatening the environment of the highlands. Environmentalists claim that the road will devastate plant and animal life and affect the lives of 7,000 native people living in the area. It will increase soil erosion and decrease water resources as it will cut through the catchment area which supplies 90 per cent of water for peninsular Malaysia. "There is already the problem of illegal logging. The road is sure to accelerate the removal of forests," says Sabri Zain of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Malaysia. Besides, there is the risk of landslides as the road will come up in a mountain range which receives incredibly high rainfall.
Green groups have signed a memorandum which says, "The Highland Resort Road has the potential to be an environmental catastrophe." The project which has already been approved by the government is awaiting an environmental impact assessment within six months.
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