SIBU (Bernama) – Sarawak has declared an all out war against illegal logging, selling of stolen oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) and gambling.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today the state government was taking these corruption problems very seriously with the intention to stop them from worsening.
“Illegal logging is still a serious problem with some RM2.95 million worth of illegal logs seized up to September this year.
“This is 400 per cent more over last year’s statistics and probably this figure is just the tip of the iceberg,” he told a media conference after a closed door meeting with 655 enforcement officers from the various state agencies here.
Adenan said he would not issue any more timber licences for the time being and appealed to licenced operators to inform the government of any illegal loggings within or outside of their concession areas.
On palm oil, he said, it had been estimated some 72,000 metric of ton had been illegal harvested or stolen and sold in the last three months.
“This translated to about RM27.5 million worth of the commodity based on current market value and covering 95,000 hectares of plantation area” he said.
He said the government was not against the genuine planters as it encouraged the Malaysia Palm Oil Board to give them the necessary licence as long as they sold their own FFB.
“Some people who had protested against the MPOB over actions taken recently are beginning to feel the pinch now,” he said, adding that for August and September this year, the government issued showcause letters to 15 FFB collection centres, two mills and one nursey operator.
In July, 14 showcause letters had been issued to 12 collection centres, one mill and one smallholder, including three centres that had their buying licences cancelled and nine with their licences suspended. On gambling, Adenan said all relevant agencies including public utility bodies must co-operate with the police to fight the menace.