KATS planning to combine forest policies from three territories

Xavier (centre) addressing a press conference. Also seen are Tengku Zulpuri (right) and Zurinah.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Sept 17: The Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS) has proposed formulating the Malaysian Forestry Policy to strengthen the foundation of the country’s forest.

Its minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam highlighted that currently, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak has three separate policies.

“Therefore, the ministry has decided to look into and reformulate the framework of the Malaysia Forestry Policy. We are planning to combine the three policies into one book,” he told a press conference this morning.

Xavier, together with his deputy Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji and secretary-general Datuk Zurinah Pawanteh had a one hour long meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this morning, to discuss some issues that needed urgent attention and recommendations with regards to the policy.

“We suggested that these three policies to be compiled as one and we are still at the discussion level with all three sides,” he added.

Apart from Malaysian Forest Policy, Xavier disclosed that they also discussed about the directions of water management, land and natural resources in the state.

“There is also an understanding that the Ministry will work closely together with Sarawak. The Ministry through the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) has pledged to continue protecting the national border sovereignty via an annual RM4 million allocation,” he said.

He emphasised that the allocation was for measuring Malaysia’s international land boundaries with Brunei in Sarawak.

He explained that there were four unsolved Outstanding Boundary Problem (OBP) areas in Sarawak, namely D400, Gunung Raya, Jagoi Mountain and Batu Aum.