Saturday, May 28

Sarawak, Indonesia urged to counter Western NGOs claims on timber-related issues


KUCHING: Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, and Indonesia should collaborate to counter allegations by western non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and pressure groups that both countries are destroying their forests.

State Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said these groups, if not properly informed on the sound management of Sarawak’s sustainable forest management policy, would become an obstacle to the development of trade and business related to timber products, such as the furniture industry.

“As such, as neighbours, both countries should help one another to counter the baseless accusations by the foreigners that Sarawak was destroying its forest and orang utans’ habitat, which is actually very much intact as they do not live in the forest as claimed by the westerners,” he said during a dialogue with members of the Jakarta Design Centre in Jakarta.

Awang Tengah, who is also Chairman of the Sarawak Timber Industry Corporation (STIDC) is currently leading a delegation of STIDC senior officers and vendors to Jepara and Jakarta between Dec 3 until tomorrow.

In his speech text issued here today, he said the westerners were practising double standards when they did not allow Malaysian timber to enter their market but, on one hand, accept timber from their own counterparts. — Bernama