New SFIA president to focus on addressing issues impacting local furniture industry

Leo Chiang

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KUCHING, April 28: Sarawak Furniture Industry Association (SFIA) is setting up a sub-committee to look into issues and find relief measures in response to the disruptions and impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) on the local furniture industry.

Newly elected president Leo Chiang, in giving this pledge, emphasised that the extension of the CMCO and the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak has badly affected and burdened the local furniture industry as business revenues and employment have dropped.

“Ongoing issues such as shortage of raw materials experienced by manufacturers, declining workforce in the furniture industry, inadequate support from the government for related SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and poor supporting industries will be my main focus for the next two years.

“We will bring up these issues to the relevant agencies soon,” he said in a press statement today.

Noting the great challenges ahead, Chiang said SFIA will continue to collaborate and work closely with the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), Sarawak Design Centre (Saradec) and all government agencies.

“SFIA will support the Timber Industry Transformation Plan (TITP) to achieve RM6 billion export of value-added products by 2030, as envisioned by Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg),” he added.

Meanwhile, Chiang was elected following the SFIA annual general meeting (AGM) and committee elections on April 18 which was held in compliance with strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The new committee members include secretary Alex Lim and treasurer Nicholas Sia.

Deputy president Lai Chin Choi also encouraged business owners in the furniture sector and similar industries to apply for membership with SFIA to strengthen their representation and build a concerted effort in the growth and development of the furniture industry in Sarawak.

SFIA has grown with 400 members throughout Sarawak at present since its establishment in 1993. — DayakDaily