Timber grab: The truth behind Pahang oil palm plantations

Low Choon Chyuan | Apr 1, 2024

Overrun by wild elephants, a barren plantation in what was mature forest bears witness to years of mismanagement.

This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network.

Being in Kampung Tanah Pindah feels like being at the edge of the world. Surrounded by dense mature forests in Hulu Tembeling, Pahang, paved roads stop here.

It is so remote that the village does not even have modern water supply, but nature provides.

Through a self-built channelling system, villagers source their water from Sungai Kancin, a river high up the hills 18 kms away.

But this harmonious, symbiotic relationship between human and nature is under jeopardy, after a massive oil plantation project wedged itself between the two.

In 2014, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Pahang (PKNP) was granted land titles to develop the jungle into oil palm plantations where Sungai Kancin is situated.