Value added timber product crucial

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. Photo: CMO

KUCHING: Every tree felled in Sarawak’s forests must have value added to it, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“This should be among the main agenda of the timber industry in the state, in line with the sustainable forest development vision shared with the international community.”

He said this during a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) today.

Abang Johari said the MoU is a step to enhance collaboration between the two universities in the field of academics and furniture design involving young Sarawakians.

He noted that presently the collaboration between Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and ITB had resulted in dozens of young Sarawakians receiving furniture design training at the ITB campus.

“The effort to add value to timber products through the furniture industry requires systematic training as provided by ITB through its Faculty of Fine Arts and Design,” he said.

Abang Johari said collaboration between Indonesia and Sarawak was not new as the state already has a framework of cooperation to supply electricity to West Kalimantan.

He hoped that the collaboration between ITB and Unimas would be expanded to other areas apart from design training by the former.

Also present were Unimas vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, ITB Rector Prof Reini D. Wirahadikusumah and Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Sarawak Yonny Tri Prayitno.