Sarawak govt confiscates illegal timber worth over RM4 mln from 2020-2022

A file photo of seized illegal timber.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, May 24: The Sarawak government has seized illegally logged timber worth RM4,027,150 between 2020 and 2022, says Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

In the same period, he said, the total amount of compounds collected for 264 forest-related offenses was RM1.6 million.

“A total of 15 cases have been registered for prosecution in court, of which 12 cases were resolved, with five accused persons convicted, and three cases still in trial,” he said when winding-up matters related to his ministry at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

Meanwhile, Awang Tengah said the issue of illegal logging in Sarawak is under control.

He said this achievement is the result of an integrated strategy the Sarawak government has implemented, such as the establishment of the State Task Force on Illegal Logging.

Clear policies and strong legal provisions; use of advanced technology such as drones, satellite imaging, hyperspectral, and geospatial; high commitment and integrity among enforcement officers; collaboration and joint responsibility with other enforcement agencies, and solid support from the timber industry are other strategies adopted.

On wildlife control and preservation of Totally Protected Areas (TPA), Awang Tengah said Sarawak recorded 326 cases of related offenses.

“Of those, 34 cases have been prosecuted in court. A total of RM172,000 of fines were collected from 30 cases and 29 offenders were sentenced to prison.

“The remaining four cases are still in trial. Meanwhile, 135 cases have been compounded near to RM434,000 and 157 more are in various stages of investigation,” he added. — DayakDaily