Sarawak gov’t to assist bird’s nest traders’ application, return confiscated items worth RM3mln

Abu Bakar (right), Tiong (centre) and others photographed during a meeting on June 6, 2023.

KUCHING, June 9: The Sarawak government will assist in simplifying bird’s nest traders’ application procedures and the return of confiscated items worth RM3 million.

Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing said he has led a delegation to meet with Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki on Tuesday (June 6) to discuss on the RM3 million worth of illegal bird nests seized by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) in Sibu.

“After understanding the issue, (Abu Bakar) pledged to coordinate with the relevant agencies to help bird’s nest traders and unlicensed operators to complete the application process, in order to ensure that all bird’s nests are sold in compliance with the guidelines.

“Besides ensuring safety to consumers, this move is also aimed at protecting the rights and interests of the traders.

“Once the traders are made legitimate, we expect that similar unpleasant incidents that saw RM3 million in supplies being seized can be prevented to stop more unnecessary business losses,” he said in a statement today.

Tiong who is also Malaysian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and Bintulu MP, further said the feedback and complaints from the swiftlet farming operators were all centred on the lengthy process to obtain permits for the bird’s best farms which have resulted in many such businesses in Sarawak operating without permits.

“We need the authorities to relook and review the application processes to simplify and streamline them, as well as shortening the time for approval. Time is money for businesses,” he added.

At the same time, Tiong stated that the traders will discuss to resolve the case of the confiscated bird’s nests with the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) and other enforcement agencies involved.

He also called for the proper storage and care of the confiscated items and speeding up of the application procedures to allow for the returning of the items to the traders to avoid more losses.

On a separate note, he said Abu Bakar would be reporting the matter to Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“I also pledge to monitor this matter until it is successfully concluded. Hopefully, such issues will not be repeated in the future,” he emphasised. – DayakDaily