Sarawak willing to revamp timber policy for the people, says CM

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announces the injection of RM290 million into the state economy in Kuching May 8, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announces the injection of RM290 million into the state economy in Kuching May 8, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

SIBU, Oct 3 — The Sarawak government is willing to revamp the timber industry policy in the state if it were meant to open more opportunities for Sarawakians’ involvement.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said among the aspects that were being considered and given emphasis were the reforestation and the participation of the people in the logging industry in the state.

“If we want to revamp the timber industry in Sarawak, we can,” he said at the special central-zone convention of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) here today.

He said the revamp of the policy should also ensure that the state’s forest timber licence holders fulfil their commitment to replant the forests they have explored, and replace the trees they felled to earn their income.

“We know that some timber licence holders, before getting the licence, said they would replant the forest they explored, and replace the trees they felled, but they never did,” he said.

Abang Johari said the state government had also acquired the drone technology to identify new areas where the trees could be felled after only six years of being planted.

He said the improvement of the timber policy in Sarawak would emphasise on the people’s involvement in the industry.

The Chief Minister said the state government through the State Economic Action Council would carry out a comprehensive study on the matter before the revamp of the policy could be implemented.

“In terms of licencing, some were under (the purview of) Yayasan Sarawak and some under the STIDC (Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation), so, we may consider having a target group that can be the major stakeholder in the timber industry,” he said. — Bernama

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