Monday, November 16, 2009

How successful is Sarawak Forestry Management?

The passing of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Ordinance 1995 was supposed to ensure proper management of our forest resources, but, this was not the case. After the Sarawak Forestry Corporation was set up under the Ordinance and with the registration of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., illegal felling of timber in the state had become very rampant. This was because most of the functions of the employees of the Sarawak Forest Department were taken by the employees of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., thus, leaving the employees of the Sarawak Forests Department very little work and enforcement duties to perform. Instead, police department was called in to assist to nab the thieves of these illegal felling of timbers in our huge forests.

The Chief Minister in The Borneo Post published on June 30, 2007 also admitted rampant illegal felling of our timber. The Chief Minister was quoted having said, “But now we have illegal logging varied out by gangsters as very damaging to our forests.”

In June 2007 police officers in Bintulu seized 95 logs and seven lorries worth a total of Rm1.5 million and royalty.

Of course there are many other incidences of illegal felling in the state and many could not be nabbed. Illegal fellings were also said rampant in Samunsam and Matang areas.

Recently a team of policemen from Song Police Station led by ASP Tamin Emperang seized a vessel carrying about 160 tonnes of illegal felled logs. So, SAPU set up by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation was not a successful enforcement unit and in combating theft of our forest produce, the help of the police department was enlisted.

How are we able to have confidence with the enforcement of laws in forest management when burglars could cart away 47 computer sets of the Sarawak Timber Industry Corporation (STIDC) office in Petra Jaya (see The Borneo Post Wednesday April 4, 2007).

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