Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Nur Shazreena Ali

Repair work underway for leaked pipe

KUCHING: Repair work is underway for a leaked pipe which caused the disruption of water supply in Kampung Setunggang Ulu, Lundu, said the Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB). The department in a statement on Monday (March 8) said the leakage,...

Sarawak looking to extend fibre optic coverage to central region

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is looking into the possibility of extending the fibre optic cable network to the central region. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing said a request had been made to TM Sarawak to further its...

Vocational training centres for special needs people

KUCHING: Sarawak is in dire need to establish vocational training centres specialised for people with special needs, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah. “We have proposed to the Education Ministry for the...

New incentives to revive tourism industry

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has introduced new tourism incentives to revive the industry that has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the incentives for local and hybrid events...

95 business events worth RM208 mln in 2020

KUCHING: Sarawak secured a total of 95 business events in the year 2020, worth RM 208.8 million of economic spinoff despite the pressure from Covid-19 pandemic. State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak remained...

Temporary occupation licence are not to be used as financial gain

KUCHING: Temporary occupation licence (TOL) owners have been urged to not use their license for financial gains. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state government reduced the price for TOL premium residential lot to RM2,500...

Headmen, JKKKs tasked to monitor movement of longhouse residents

BETONG: Headmen and members of the security and development committees (JKKK) from nine longhouses here have been tasked to carry out a comprehensive community policing programme. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the longhouses were under lockdown...

Rollout in Limbang, Lawas this weekend

KUCHING: Two districts in the northern part of Sarawak, Limbang and Lawas, will begin their Covid-19 vaccination programme this weekend, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. He said the shipment of the vaccine is scheduled to arrive in both...

Road users told to be patient

KUCHING: The public are advised to bear for a while with the condition of Matang Road between Courts Mammoth and the junction of Taman Malihah here. Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman said the task to ensure smooth and safe drive...

Register for the Covid jab

KUCHING: Members of the public have been urged once again to register for the Covid-19 vaccination through the MySejahtera mobile application. Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman said although taking the jab is not mandatory, it is instrumental in containing 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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