Masing: Illegal loggers used Batang Baleh logjam to conceal illicitly felled logs

Tan Sri James Masing

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 29: Illegal loggers took advantage of the logjam on Baleh River to float illegally felled logs along with the debris.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing who highlighted this in a statement today labelled the illegal loggers’ move as ‘smart’ and ‘creative’.

“What surprises me is that the relevant agencies like NREB (Natural Resources and Environment Board) and LSS (Sarawak Rivers Board) are dead quiet.

“They should give their impact assessment of the wood debris on the local population who reside along the Baleh river to (the) government via the Resident Office.

“The Ministry in-charge of these agencies must ensure that they discharge their duties,” he said in a statement.

Masing was responding to a news report on Sibu Marine Police’s recent seizure of 300 illegal logs worth about RM200,000 during the Covid-19 ‘Ops Benteng’ at Batang Rajang on August 25.

The police said the logs were believed to have been illegally felled as they do not carry any Forestry Department mark. The logs were then handed over to the Sibu Forest Department for further action. — DayakDaily