Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Gerald Lawson

Structure possibly a tourism boost

KUCHING: The construction of a pontoon base near the Sungai Pelaie Bridge will encourage visitors and tourists to come to Kampung Salak. According to the Assistant Minister of Water Supply, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Kampung Salak has its own...

Stricter enforcement of SOPs at markets

SIBU: Visitors to the Sibu Central Market will now have to follow stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) before they are allowed to enter to do their marketing. The rule also applies to other markets in areas under Sibu Municipal Council...

Time to raise veterans’ funeral aid

SIBU: The Sarawak Malaysian Armed Forces Veteran Association wants the government to raise the RM3,000 funeral aid given to members to RM5,000. Speaking at the presentation of the aid yesterday, its president Francis Yeo said due to the high cost...

No way we’ll agree!

Sarawak PKR against allies giving up seats to PSB: Sng SIBU: Sarawak PKR is against its allies conceding seats to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) as PSB is not part of Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH). Sarawak PKR chairman Larry Sng warned that...

Taman Indah Sunday Market starts on Aug 1

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will find an alternative site for its Sunday Market if a new site at Taman Indah fails to attract customers. The Sunday market has been closed since March 18 when the movement control order came...

‘Join in the fight’

SIBU: Residents under the Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) jurisdiction have been told to help in the fight against Covid-19 and rabies epidemic in the area. Speaking at the launch of a two-in one campaign — prevention of Covid-19 and...

Better late than never

COMPULSORY USE OF FACE MASKS SIBU: The compulsory use of face masks in public places from August 1 should be given full support by all Malaysians for their common good. Chairman of Sibu Benevolent Society Robert Chew said the wearing of...

No Kenyalang Gold Card partners in Sibu?

SIBU: Kenyalang Gold Card holders here are finding the card redundant as there are no participating businesses here. They want the authorities concerned to look into the matter. A public member, Pauline Ho, said there were even some hesitated to collect...

Woman seeks help to locate missing daughter

SIBU: A 48-year-old woman is seeking help from the public to locate her teenage daughter who was reported missing since middle of April this year. In her police report, the woman who is a shop assistant, stated that her colleague...

Poor response to anti-rabies jab, tag registration

SIBU: Dog owners here gave a lukewarm response to the anti-rabies vaccination drive. For example, last Thursday morning, only one dog owner came to register his dog at Grand Heights for the tag which would entitle the pet for free...

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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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