S’wak govt to stop issuing new timber licenses – CM

Abang Johari (centre) showing the text of his winding up speech during his arrival at the State Legislative Assembly building today. He was accompanied by Jemoreng assemblyman Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya (left) and Chief Minister’s Principal Private Secretary Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad. – Photo by Chimon Upon

The Sarawak government will continue to stop the issuance of new timber licences in all out efforts to protect and retain the remaining indigenous virgin jungle in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg stressed that the vast tracts of the forest have already been logged and it was very difficult to restore them.

“Worse still is the stripping of the forests of all their vegetation by plywood factories operating deep in the forests, ostensibly to clear the land for the planting of oil palm,” he told the august House in his winding up speech at the State Assembly Sitting today

“As such, therefore, there will be no more new palm oil plantation licences except for NCR (Native Customary Rights) land,” he pointed out.

The state government, he added, will continue to fight illegal logging.

“Not only are they just stealing timber in areas which are not licensed to them, but they are also intruding into forest reserve areas,” he said.

“If unchecked, we may have no more forest reserves of any kind, fully protected or otherwise. We must protect our protected forests if we want to retain any of our indigenous virgin jungle,” he added.

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