Govt urged to continue Adenan’s strict stance against illegal logging

KUCHING, Nov 6: State PKR chairman Baru Bian urges the state government to continue with the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s uncompromising stance against illegal logging with prosecutions made against culprits.

“The people want to see results in the form of prosecutions, and not “no case” decisions by unknown committees,” said the Ba Kelalan state assemblyman in a press statement yesterday.

Besides calling on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to conduct the investigation, Baru also called upon the members of this so-called ‘investigation committee’ to identify themselves and justify their findings.

It was reported that an investigation committee set up to probe an illegal logging case in Bintulu had concluded that there was no case against the companies which logged the area.

About RM7 million worth of illegal logs and heavy machinery seized in the joint raid by a company and Sarawak Forest Corporation in August were released after the ‘no case’ decision.

Supporting the call by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan for a thorough investigation into the ‘no-case’ decision, Baru said he suspected corruption in Forest Department.

He further substantiated his suspicion, quoting the late chief minister Adenan, “I suspect some enforcement personnel are in cahoots with illegal logging operators as every time enforcement agencies raided illegal logging sites, only logs and machineries were seized while the culprits had fled the scene.”

“This is a matter involving the people’s resources and they must be responsible and answerable to the people for their decisions. There must be solid and sound reasons behind their decision, otherwise the public cannot be blamed for being suspicious.”

He pointed out that statistics on illegal logging cases/raids, number of logs detained, machinery seized and suspects caught were disclosed but no information on prosecutions was revealed.

Baru also questioned whether any action was taken against the culprits on the illegal logging made in his area over the past two years, such as Sungai Betanung Batang Trusan, Long Ugui, Jalan Sungai Awat Awat and last month, at the Long Sukang, Lawas Water Catchment area and in Long Trusan. — Dayak Daily