Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Headlines

No going back

GPS won’t rejoin BN so as not to be like a small fish in a big pond KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will not consider returning to Barisan Nasional (BN), plain and simple. This was made clear by State Tourism, Arts...

By-election loss PH’s own doing

KUCHING: The defeat of Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the Tanjung Piai by-election was the coalition’s own doing. Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) vice president Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil said that Malaysians were capable of judging the performance of the new government...

Time for serious discussion

KUCHING: It is high time for the digital mobile healthcare be introduced in Sarawak, said Local Government and Housing Minister Prof Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian. "It is without a doubt that the world's economy is now digitally driven....

Term appraisal: PH govt fails miserably

KUCHING: The Tanjong Piai by-election results must be taken seriously by the Pakatan Harapan leadership, said Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen. In a statement yesterday, he said though it might only be the result of one by-election, it was...

Fortune in mobile health industry

KUCHING: Private hospitals in the state need to invest in digital technology in order to be able to tap into the mobile health industry. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is because mobile health is a...

BN triumph expected

KUCHING: Former Cabinet minister and Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar described Barisan Nasional's (BN) victory in the Tanjung Piai by-election as ‘expected’. He said that the only fear he had was whether the Malays would distance themselves...

E-cigs may damage the heart

Vaping devices and the chemicals they deliver — increasingly popular among teens — may damage the cardiovascular system, a study said, adding to a growing chorus of concern over injury and deaths related to e-cigarettes. The latest findings, published in...

Unite and continue struggle for all Sarawakians

IN his speech at the inaugural Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Convention yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg assured the 5,000-odd delegates that Sarawak will not go bankrupt. He said the state still has a reserve of RM32...

Get ready for Mother of Elections

By Natasha Jee & Tania Lam SARAWAK will be up against the entire might of the federal government in the coming state election, said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi. “For that, we expect none other than a...

NOT ACCEPTABLE

Petronas’ zero-rated SST offer unacceptable KUCHING: Petronas, through the federal government has offered an ex gratia payment of 3 per cent to Sarawak but with a condition the state government drops the sales tax and Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958. Assistant...

Latest News

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.