CM lauds UKPN’s contributions in reducing illegal logging

Abang Johari (centre) cuts a cake to mark the third anniversary of UPKN. Also seen are Uggah (left) and Chai. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas).

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 22: The State Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPN) has managed to combat several illegal logging operations in Sarawak especially along the Batang Rajang Basin.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in a special address in conjunction with UKPN’s third anniversary said the organisation was able to thwart unlawful timber operations which reduce the state’s revenues.

“Though a young, repurposed organisation, 2019 has been a good year for UKPN as the unit strived to become an important organisation entrusted with the duty to protect the state’s interest and safeguard its security.

“Over the past three years, we have seen UKPN involved largely in prevention of illegal logging and sand dredging, ensuring food security, physical security activities, Community Emergency Response Team or CERT awareness and training across Sarawak, and many major awareness programmes and training across Sarawak.”

The Chief Minister highlighted that UKPN has opened 25 investigation papers, seized about 6,000 logs, 13 heavy machinery units and three lorries in addition to charging 76 people in court.

“I believe this exercise has significantly impacted and reduced illegal logging activities in the Batang Rajang Basin.

“The Op Jongkong covering mainly the Batang Rajang area is a good example of a well-conducted operation to thwart unlawful extraction of timber that can lead to environmental degradation and loss of state revenue,” he said during a press conference at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

Abang Johari also highlighted that UKPN emphasised human capital training and development to upgrade its officers’ skills and competency.

He noted that UKPN officers are required to undergo various types of training programmes to enhance their decision-making skills and improve their performance in the discharge of their duties.

He expressed hope that new officers who joined the organisation will adapt well and fast to the organisation’s work culture and values that should be aligned with the aim of Sarawak’s civil service to provide a world class service to the state and Sarawakians.

Among those present at the press conference were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and UKPN director Datuk Dr Chai Khin Chung. — DayakDaily