Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Mukhriz Mohamad

Agencies main catalysts for state digital development

KUCHING: Sarawak has a bright future in digital economy with the existence of Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (Centexs). Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul...

Ramadan bazaars making a comeback

KUCHING: The Satok Bazaar Ramadan will be making a comeback during the fasting month after its absence in the previous year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Two other bazaars in Semarak and Sukma Ria, which are under the Kuching North...

Attractive prizes await DBKU competition winners

KUCHING: Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) will be holding a ‘Kebersihan, Kecantikan dan Kejiranan Contoh (3K)’ competition with attractive prizes awaiting winners. The competition is a collaboration with Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd as the main sponsor, as well the involvement...

Entrepreneur keen on sharing to help others

KUCHING: The various challenges that Rafur Halim has faced during his more than 10 years in business has enabled him to survive and thrive until now. His tenacity is also thanks to his wife, Faezah Jainudin, who has always been...

Office boy turns successful food entrepreneur

KUCHING: After 19 years of selling banana fritters at a stall in front of the family home, the experience has inspired Azreen Abdul Rahim d to take up business. Azreen said he has been helping his father sell banana fritters...

From civil servant to businessman

KUCHING: Despite being a civil servant and having a fixed income, Muinuddin Matnor was determined to chase after his dreams of venturing into business. Muinuddin, who also has experience working as a car and product salesman, worked in the bank...

New village mosque to be built next year

KUCHING: The new Masjid Darul Rahman at Kampung Pasir Pandak is expected to be built in the second quarter of next year, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi. According...

Islamic agencies helping during pandemic

KUCHING: Islamic agencies have been playing their part in helping the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said the Sarawak Islamic Council (MIS) through the...

RM127mln to improve Kabong water supply

KUCHING: A total of RM127mil has been set aside by the state government for 14 water supply projects in Kabong, says Assistant Utilities (Water Supply) Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi. “When the projects are completed and start operating, it...

State-level do in Kuching on Oct 28, 29

Maulidur Rasul KUCHING: The state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration will be held in Kuching on Oct 28 and 29. This was said by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi. According to him, the...

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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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