Blandoi is Salcra acting general manager

Blandoi (left) and Uggah visiting the Saribas Estate.

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KUCHING, Jan 5: Former Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) deputy general manager Joseph Blandoi, 53, has been appointed as its acting general manager effective Jan 1.

He replaced former general manager Datu Vasco Sabat Singkang, who retired in December last year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Salcra chairman, made the announcement when meeting some of the landowners’ representatives of the Saribas estate at its office at Simpang Layar in Betong yesterday.

Blandoi, a Bisaya from Limbang and speaks very fluent Iban, was among the senior officers present.

Uggah said he was confident with Blandoi at the helm, as he would bring in a new spirit of development to the entity.

“We had last year sent him for a two-month modern management course at Harvard in the USA, which is one of the leading universities in the world. We want Salcra to be on a right footing first before allowing it to go further in developing more native customary rights (NCR) land.

“We still have hug potentials, where we have 300,000 hectares (ha) in the Sadok Agropolitan areas, between 300,000ha and 400,000ha in the Upper Rejang Development Agency (Urda) and in the High Land Development Agency (HDA) areas and more than 100,000ha in our coastal areas,” he revealed.

In the oil palm areas, Uggah said Salcra was going into livestock breeding where it currently has more than 2,800 heads of cows.

“It is our hope that by next year, they could give birth to 1,000 calves and for the numbers to be gradually increasing year by year. We can then strengthen our livestock breeding programme, as well as providing self-sufficiency for beef and for the export market,” Uggah continued.

Meanwhile in his speech earlier, Blandoi said he had two critical focus for Salcra.

“They are to maximise the returns from all our estates and to increase manpower competency at every level. We also have five strategic thrusts as the way forward for Salcra,” he said.

He explained that the first one was to boost operation excellence, where there would be greater adoption of smart technologies.

“We hope in the next three months, we will be able to identify technologies which are affordable, implementable and critical.

“Then, we want all our field staff to record the  profit and loss incurred in their daily activities so that by the end of each month we will be in the know if we are going to make profit or otherwise,” he said.

Blandoi added the staff will also be undergoing training to uncover their talents and potentials.

“Some of them were recruited on the basis of their good local knowledge and experiences which were eventually forgotten along the way. We cannot use the same solutions to problems in every estates.

“We need local knowledge in our attempt to boost productivity. So let us use each other inputs (including from the landowners), then we can have a lot of communications and innovations,” he said.

On the same note, he said the managers would be allowed to make their own decisions instead of having to refer to the headquarters.

“But, we are going to establish a system of financial and approval limit of authority,” he added.

He said the auditors would be sent to do very regular spot-check to prevent possible abuses.

Blandoi added a new policy of Salcra would be to give priority to local contractors (Class E and below) with more opportunities to do contract works through the open tender system.

“There is no need to get outside contractors except for those higher level works, he continued.

Blandoi said he was all for the policy that if any estate was not making any profit for a particular year, then all its management and field workers should not receive any bonus for the year.

“It does not look good to me for them to enjoy the bonus when the participating landowners are not getting any dividend. These are all in my planning,” he said. — DayakDaily