Batang Kali landslide: We never said camping licenses are not needed, says Agriculture Dept

PETALING JAYA: The Agriculture Department has denied having discussions with Father’s Organic Farm operators on campsite operations as it does not have the authority on the matter.

It said the department, specifically the Hulu Selangor Agriculture Office, never held discussions with Father’s Organic Farm operators on the matter following media reports quoting the camping site’s spokesman saying that government entities, including the Agriculture Department, had mentioned it was unnecessary for campsite managers to apply for such licences.

“This is false. The Agriculture Department only advised Father’s Organic Farm on processes to obtain an agricultural certificate, while also conducting site visits there.

“The Agriculture Department also does not have the authority to issue permits, licences or advice for campsite operations,” it said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 21).

In a press conference on Tuesday (Dec 20), Father’s Organic Farm spokesperson Frankie Tan said they had attempted to apply for a campsite permit but were told by several government authorities, including the Agriculture Department, that it was not necessary.

A landslide, which occurred along the Batang Kali-Genting Highlands stretch in the wee hours of Dec 16 hit Father’s Organic Farm, leaving 26 dead with seven victims yet to be found.

Search operations at the site are currently in its sixth day, with operations temporarily halted on Wednesday evening due to continuous rain.