Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Aina Azizah Yeo

Four new cases reported

KUCHING: Four new imported Covid-19 cases were reported in Sarawak today, taking the total tally to 1,114. Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said two cases were recorded in Kuching, and one each in Sibu and Betong. Case 1,111 is a local...

Lo hopes Sungai Maong bazaar project approved soon

KUCHING: Chairman of Padawan Municipal Council (MPP), Lo Khere Chiang hopes that the RM10 million rejuvenation project for Sungai Maong bazaar at the Third Mile would be approved soon.  Speaking after the blessing ceremony of Lu Yi Pek Kong temple...

Blessing ceremony for new deity

KUCHING: Despite the heat on Sunday morning (Dec 27), many worshippers gathered at Lu Yi Pek Kong Temple at the Third Mile here to welcome a new deity. The blessing ceremony was graced by Minister of Local Government and Housing,...

15 illegals who thought they could make it

KUCHING: Fifteen undocumented Indonesian immigrants, including a child, who harboured the dream of having a better life in Sarawak,  were deported to their country following a failed attempt to enter and leave the state illegally over a period of...

Human trafficker caught red handed

LUNDU: A local man who attempted to smuggle six illegal immigrants through a jalan tikus (rat trail) at Kampung Raso was arrested on Wednesday (Dec 23). State General Operations Force (GOF) Commander SAC Mancha Ata said in the 8.10pm incident...

Fire destroys workers’ home

SPAOH: A swiftlet nest workers' house was destroyed in a fire at Jalan Spaoh here today. State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) operations centre said a distress call on the incident was received at 9.59am. "Upon firemen’s arrival, the 24x24 square...

Woman dies in house fire

SIBU: A 30-year-old woman perished in a fire that destroyed a double-storey house at Lorong Maling, Jalan Oya this afternoon. State Fire and Rescue (Bomba) operations centre said the deceased was identified as Kong King Ling. Firefighters from Sibu fire station...

Man reports break-in at his farm store

SIBU: A farmer has lost RM600 worth of farming materials at Jalan Sungai Lan. Sibu police chief, ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, said the 50-year-old victim lodged a police report last Wednesday upon seeing around 3am that his store had been...

12-year-old who went missing after swimming found

SARIKEI: A girl who went missing after swimming in a river was found safe about 100 metres from her last known location on Wednesday night at Jalan Bayong/Simpang Koko, Nanga Ribong. State Fire Department operations centre informed that the 12-year-old...

Illegal lottery ticket agent nabbed

KUCHING: A 29-year-old man was nabbed on suspicion of being an illegal lottery ticket agent in an operation codenamed Ops Dadu. Padawan police chief Supt Aidil Bolhassan said the raid was conducted at a coffee shop in Matang Jaya here...

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No truth to BMF’s allegations, says Samling

KUCHING: Samling Group has clarified that the allegations contained in a post published on the Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) on May 20 are false and lack any shred of credibility or truth.  The post by BMF contained allegations made against Samling Group in relation to the Gerenai and Ravenscourt Forest Management Units (FMUs), calling into question the certification of the two FMUs by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and alleging ‘many discrepancies between the certification requirements and its implementation’. “The allegations have not only tarnished unfairly Samling’s image but have also brought into serious question the good reputations of both MTCC and of the certifying body, SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd.  “Additionally, the allegations belittle the value of forest management certification and the integrity of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC),” said Samling in a statement today (June 2).  It said the allegations made in the post by BMF and Borneo Project (BP) had been repeated despite due clarification published by MTCC itself on Aug 13 last year, whereby MTCC clarified that Samling had indeed satisfactorily fulfilled all the requisite certification requirements. The company also clarified that the certification process for the Gerenai and Ravenscourt FMUs was done in accordance with all requirements of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme’s Malaysian Criteria & Indicators, which have been endorsed by the PEFC, and are therefore compliant with international certification standards. “Part of this certification process involves the submission of third-party Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) reports – both of which were duly complied with by Samling.  “The scope the EIA report is under the purview of the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) of Sarawak and not Samling. It is a requirement of NREB that part of the EIA report must be put up for public display in the FMUs’ offices,” said Samling. The findings of the SIA are communicated to the communities – usually by the consultant responsible for the assessment – either by a visit to an individual community or at a meeting held for a group of communities, it said. “Contrary to what was alleged in the BMF post, Samling has not received any formal request to share either the EIA report or the SIA report. Thus, to allege that Samling has refused to release these reports is totally untrue, and to say they were not made available to the communities is also incorrect.  “This practice of lobbing baseless accusation after baseless accusation without any regard for truth or fact is a practice that is unfortunate,” the company said.  It stressed that publishing groundless accusations based on false information does little good for the communities these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) purport to support, and can in fact cause damage to the processes that have been put in place by Samling for the upliftment of the communities involved. Samling said it valued constructive engagement with the communities and had carried out numerous community engagements on its own initiative, which have already been reported by the media. “Samling’s own internal standard operating procedures involve direct and comprehensive engagement between the Group’s liaison officers and the local communities to ensure there is full understanding and agreement of any proposed harvesting activity in areas that lie close to or overlap with community lands recognised under the law.  “This is done before the start of any harvesting operations and holds true also for the Gerenai and Ravenscourt FMUs.” Samling said it understood and respected the community’s dependence on forest produce and had neither denied the importance of the forest to their livelihood nor wilfully caused damage to forests that are used by the communities as food sources. “At the same time, Samling also believes in the empowerment of local communities so that they can discern for themselves their rights and the responsibilities of the Samling Group, and engage directly with Group instead of through NGOs who claim to speak for the communities,” it said.  To help achieve this, Samling has embarked on numerous community projects aimed not only at the economic uplifting of the communities but more importantly at the educational uplifting of their children and future generations. These projects include roads, bridges, schools, as well as medical assistance particularly Covid-19 related medical support, testing, and other equipment and facilities. The company has been present in rural Sarawak for many decades and has been a key partner of the state government in providing roads, education, and healthcare facilities to these areas. “Samling will always maintain its integrity as a responsible corporate citizen by adhering to all the relevant laws and regulations that have been imposed by the state and federal authorities.  “Samling accepts fair criticism and scrutiny as part and parcel of the corporate world but it will not accept baseless and false accusations hurled against the Group and will continue to speak up to defend its reputation and name,” the company said.
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