Sunday, September 19

SFC confirms action taken against illegal logging mastermind


KUCHING: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer, Wong Ting Chung today confirmed that disciplinary process is underway against a senior officer of the corporation for allegedly masterminding illegal logging in Kampung Danu, Padawan.

He said SFC had handed over the illegal logging case to the Forestry Department of Sarawak, which was in the process of taking legal action against the culprits.

Wong also confirmed that the logging permit given to the Kampung Danu Cooperative had been withdrawn after it was discovered that it had been abused for logging activities outside the permitted area, which was said to be state land.

“We have commenced the disciplinary process against him (the SFC officer) in accordance with the company’s rules and regulations. He has answered to our show-cause letter and we will decide on his fate soon,” said Wong.

Apart from withdrawing the permit, the Forestry Department of Sarawak also seized 750 logs and the machines used in the illegal logging, during the raid on Dec 8, last year. The logs and machines are still being detained at the junction of the logging road in Kampung Danu.

The department in a statement last month said the culprits could be charged in court under the new Sarawak Forest Ordinance 2015, which carries heavier penalties.

Prior to the raid, a group of Kampung Danu villagers who are committee members of the village’s cooperative, had lodged a report at the Siburan police station, denying giving approval to use the cooperative to apply for the logging permit.

In their report, they claimed that several people, who are the cooperative’s members, had used the cooperative’s name for their personal benefit.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who is also Bengoh assemblyman, when contacted, strongly denied his involvement in the logging activities after certain individuals spread the word that he supported the activities.

Several villagers when met but requested anonymity, said the Kampung Danu residents were against the logging activities and called on the authorities to take stern action against the culprits. – BERNAMA