By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 13: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has called on local companies to emulate Sarawak Energy in participating in the “Greening Malaysia Programme” tree-planting campaign in exchange of a 10 per cent income tax deduction from their respective total annual aggregate income.
“There is a rebate on tax deduction under the (Greening Malaysia) programme where you can request for tax deduction of 10 per cent.
“So I think (companies) should plant more trees instead of paying so much taxes to the federal government,” he said during the launch of Sarawak Energy Berhad’s (Sarawak Energy) 10-Year Integrated Tree Planting, Protection and Habitat Restoration Programme held at Sama Jaya Nature Reserve here today.
Abang Johari noted that the nationwide programme aims to plant 100 million trees by 2025, of which the State has vowed to take up a sum of 35 milion trees.
As of May 30 this year, a total of 33 million trees have been planted nationwide with Sarawak topping the list with 12 million trees.
He said planting trees will help store carbon stock, which in turn will assist the Sarawak government to venture into carbon trade industry in an even faster rate.
Among other efforts by the State government to embark on nature conservation and urban renewal are the upgrading of Piasau Nature Reserve with a cost of RM30 million (Miri), gazetting Taman Bukit Siol as a nature reserve (Kuching), upgrading Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (Sibu), and redeveloping Bukit Assek of Sibu.
At the event, Abang Johari witnessed the signing of memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sarawak Energy and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) for the planting and protection of trees and conduct other biodiversity related research projects across Sarawak Energy’s assets, facilities, locations and project areas in Sarawak.
Following this, Sarawak Energy is working with various partners on tree planting and habitat restoration programmes to plant and protect 500,000 trees by 2030.
Sarawak Energy was represented by its Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datu Sharbini Suhaili while SFC was represented by its CEO Zolkipli Mohamad Aton.
They were joined by Sarawak Energy’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Services Siti Aisah Adenan, Senior Vice President for Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) Marconi Madai; SFC’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Oswald Braken Tisen and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Abang Arabi Abang Aimran, who were also witnesses for the MOU.
Also present were Sarawak Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Ministers for Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Liwan Lagang and Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Deputy Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environment Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni and Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi. – DayakDaily