RM1.34 mln in compounds collected for forest-related offences

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A total of 215 investigation papers were opened involving various forest offences over the last two years.

This was revealed by Deputy Premier and Second Minister Natural Resources and Urban Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan in his ministerial winding-up speech today.

Awang Tengah said out of the total, 55 of the cases were still under investigation by the Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) while 160 cases were submitted to the State Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPN) and the State Attorney General (SAG).

“Of this total, 40 cases were categorised as No Further Action (NFA), five cases were convicted of offences, 14 cases were compounded, 10 cases are still in the trial process while the remaining 91 cases are still in various stages of the investigation.

“During the same period, a total of RM1,340,783 in compounds were collected,” he said.

Awang Tengah said the state government led by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was committed to combating illegal logging and illegal forest activities.

A special operations team to combat illegal logging has been set up and tasked with coordinating the implementation of all integrated operations in collaboration with various state and federal enforcement agencies.

“The Sarawak government through SFD also uses various latest technologies such as hyperspectral, satellite imagery, Revlog System, Revlog Mobile Application and Continuous Monitoring and Surveillance (COMOS) to monitor forest areas and detect illegal logging activities,” he assured.

Awang Tengah called on all parties to cooperate by channelling information on any suspicious activities taking place in their respective areas.

“This is to enable early action to be taken for activities that violate the law causing destruction to forest ecosystems and leakage of revenue for the Sarawak government,” he said.

He also stressed that the government through the Forest Department would continue to implement the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) programme which was rebranded as the Greening Sarawak Campaign.

“This programme aims to enrich the degraded forest area and involves all stakeholders, including the local community.

“It is in line with the Malaysian Greening Programme to plant 100 million trees by 2025. Of that amount, the state government is committed to planting 35 million trees over five years, or seven million trees per year.

He said Sarawak had so far planted a total of 12,247,189 trees, the highest planting record in Malaysia.

“These tree-planting areas include government land, logging licences, forest plantations, NCR land, and privately-owned land,” he said.

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