Monday, 10 November 2008

No evidence of illegal Indonesian timber

Personal note. It is common knowledge in Borneo that illegal timber is routed through Sarawak.

The StarOnline 10th November

Published: Monday November 10, 2008

No evidence of illegal Indonesian timber

KUCHING: There is no evidence of illegal timber from Indonesia being shipped to Sarawak for re-export as legal timber as has been alleged in an Indonesian newspaper, Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said.

He said the state government had not received any official complaint from Indonesian authorities on the alleged export of illegal timber from Indonesia to Sarawak.

“As such, we ought not to accept what had been alleged in the Indonesian newspaper (Tribun Pontianak) as the truth,” he told the Sarawak State Assembly on Monday when winding up the debate on matters related to his ministry.

He said although the state government did not permit the import of logs from Indonesia into Sarawak, it allowed small sizes of sawn timber to be imported subject to certain conditions.

The sawn timber, which can only enter Sarawak through authorised entry points, must have supporting documents issued by the relevant Indonesian authorities permitting its export.

In addition, it must be handled by Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd at designated timber depots to be tagged and issued with a removal pass from the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) before it can be taken elsewhere.

“These procedures enable the government to identify timber products from Indonesia so as to exclude any illegal timber taken into Sarawak from our neighbouring country,” Awang Tengah said, adding that the state government would never allow Sarawak to be used as a conduit for the illegal timber trade.