Ting says short-term timber licence tender good, Ling surprised

Alan Ling

MIRI: SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting welcomes Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg’s decision to issue short-term timber licence through tender, saying the tendering process will provide equal opportunity to all who wish to participate.

“This is indeed a wonderful way and we are happy to be able to witness a new era of administering the state’s resources and to get the best tender price for our depleting resources,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The state government, he added, would benefit from this open tender exercise, which would be able to screen all the bids to protect the state’s natural resources “Ultimately, the people of Sarawak will benefit as the money collected will be used for more development.”

DAP secretary Alan Ling Sie Kiong, meanwhile, expressed surprise and was puzzled as to why the chief minister was deviating from the policy left by Tok Nan (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem), though in office for only a month.

“Is Abang Johari retracting Tok Nan’s policy which he promised to carry on?

“As far as I know, Tok Nan was advocating environment protection and opposed the issuance of new timber licence to preserve the environment. Under his policy, all illegal logging activities have apparently been reduced and those still around are subject to continuous monitoring and enforcement.

“Our main concern is Abang Johari’s latest policy. Though issued through open tender, it will invite illegal logging activities, which is worrying,” he said, adding he would have to look into the chief minister’s policy in depth first before commenting further.

Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Resource Planning and Environment, announced on Thursday that short-term timber licence, to be issued through open tender, could only be issued for state land forest approved by the government and Native Customary Right (NCR) land Development Area and Native Communal Reserve that shall undergo development.

The tender is said to be advertised in local newspapers and website of the Forest Department.

It is also said that the duration of the timber licence would last about a year depending on the area involved and the timber stands.

Source: The Borneo Post

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