Over 90 pct bird’s nest farms in Sarawak illegal, operators hope to be legalised

More than 150 people attended the ‘Dialogue between SFC and Sarawak Bird’s Nest Industry’ at the KCGC Innovation Hub here yesterday (May 30, 2023).

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, May 30: A number of bird’s nest operators have raised the issue of legalising illegal farms in Sarawak, citing the fact that only 491 licences have been issued, and that more than 90 per cent of bird’s nest farms in Sarawak are still illegal.

According to an operator who only wants to be known as Mr Wong from the Bird’s Nest Traders Association Sarikei Division, the majority of the farms in Sarawak are illegal, including those in most longhouses.


“We do not blame the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) because they are the law enforcement officers.

“However, I would like to ask the Sarawak government how to make illegal such farms legal in Sarawak,” Wong said during today’s ‘Dialogue between SFC and Sarawak Bird’s Nest Industry’ at the Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s KCGC Innovation Hub here.

Meanwhile, Wong Huang Kuok, another bird’s nest operator from Sarikei, was wondering who would be held accountable if he had to close his farm because the new law required operators to operate 16km outside of the urban centre.

He stated that to him there is no consistency in the law, which is causing problems and a significant loss for them.

He claimed that when the industry first began in Sarawak in 2002, the authorities took no action as long as the farms did not cause problems with noise, health, or smell.

“My concern is the criteria on the location of the farms because of the new law on the radius from the city centre.

“In 2008 when I set up my farm, I asked for a licence but there was no licence given to me.

He alleged that farms located more than 10km from the city centre were not licenced, whereas farms located within 5km of the city centre were.

To this question raised, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton clarified that SFC only took over in 2020 where the responsibilities have shifted to take over all functions under National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance 1998 and Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998. — DayakDaily