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PETALING JAYA (July 2): The former students of the 120-year-old Ipoh’s Methodist Girl’s School (MGS) are protesting the felling of a raintree on the school’s grounds that is believed older than the institution itself, reported the Malay Mail.

The felling of the tree has sparked a petition on change.org which has collected over 2,500 signatures as at 3.30pm today.

The tree, estimated to be 121 years old, is an institution in its own right as generations of students have spent hours gathering, playing softball and holding band practice under its shade, said MGS Old Girl’s Association vice-president Linda Hanim Mustaffa.

According to her, she only found out about what happened to the tree when pictures of the tree’s chopped branches made the rounds online.

It is unknown why the tree was felled, and Linda pointed out that the tree was still solid and it may not be able to grow back like the way it was.

Meanwhile, fellow ex-student Lee Pooi Mun who heads the legal team battling the felling of the tree said it could not be chopped down without the approval of the Ipoh city council.

According to Section 35H of the Town and Country Planning Act, no person is allowed to fell a tree with a girth of over 80cm without written permission from the local planning authority, except in cases where the tree is dead or dying, or to prevent imminent danger, or comply with any written law.

Lee said she had written to the school to halt the felling of the tree immediately and allow it to regrow undisturbed.

Malay Mail tried unsuccessfully to contact the school’s board of governors and the city council for a response.

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