By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 26: Pusaka Capital — an investment arm of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation STIDC to consolidate the investment activities of STIDC subsidiary companies — will expand its investment activities to include bio-plastic, bio-fuel and other potential economic sectors.
Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said since the 1980s, Pusaka Capital has been investing in petroleum and gas, realty development, construction, aquaculture, palm oil industry cluster, biomass, port and logistics and also manufacturing.
Speaking at STIDC’s 45th anniversary dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here last night, he said STIDC needed to invest in other sectors in order not to be too dependent on logs premium as its main source of revenue.
On service delivery, Awang Tengah highlighted that STIDC would continue to apply information technology in their work process in line with the government aspiration in leveraging on Industry 4.0 and the digital economy.
On the timber industry, he said STIDC would continue to collaborate with the private sector locally and internationally.
“We conducted a consultation session with all stakeholders on Jan 22 and 23, which Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officiated, to come out with more comprehensive, pragmatic and holistic forest and timber industry policies,” he informed.
Awang Tengah explained that the session was to ensure that the timber industry would remain relevant, sustainable and continue to be a major contributor to the state’s economic development.
“Under the changing environment and to ensure sustainable forest and timber industry, the Chief Minister has initiated a new policy direction and action plans to be formulated encompassing economy, social and environmental aspects.
“This includes land use, sustainable forest management, industrial forest plantations and timber industry transformation,” he said.
STIDC, he added, would continue to carry out promotional activities, especially timber selling missions, and participate in international exhibitions in order to strengthen and expand Sarawak’s existing markets as well as to develop new markets for Sarawak’s timber products.
“In 1980, the annual export earnings from timber products was only RM1 billion, which was mainly from log export. In 2012, the export value of timber products was RM7.4 billion, of which more than 90 per cent were from primary and secondary products like plywood, veneer and sawn timber,” he added.
The dinner celebration was officiated by Head of State Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. Among those present were Taib’s wife, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Abang Johari’s wife, Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, and Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Naroden Majais and Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh.— DayakDaily