LAHAD DATU, 13 AUGUST 1997
DISCLOSE STATE REFORESTATION POLICY NOW
DATU, Wed. – Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) today urged chief minister
Datuk Yong Teck Lee to disclose at once the details of the state
government’s reforestation policy and not to wait until huge timber
areas are awarded to private companies before doing so.
deputy president Dr Maximus Ongkili said the chief minister’s explanation
that the government had not yet made public the plans and strategies
because formalities and media briefs had not been completed was
merely a lame excuse and cannot be accepted.
made the comments while officiating the opening of the annual general
meeting (AGM) of the Lahad Datu PBS division this morning which
was attended by some 300 party leaders and delegates.
is a joke that the government’s reforestation policy and programmes
are not ready for public disclosure and yet some 17 companies have
already been awarded about 100,000 hectares each of commercial forest
wonders whether the government really has a reforestation policy
as claimed by the chief minister", he said.
Ongkili claimed that basic to any development planning was first
to state the goals, programmes and strategies that make up the policy
for the sector concerned.
are then openly disclosed to the public so that investors and other
economic actors are fully aware of what the government plans to
do and how entrepreneurs can play their role in development of the
sector. Only then implementation commences, including awarding contracts
and projects such as timber areas in the case of the forest sector.
in the Sabah forestry sector, the present government’s style is
first to award massive timber areas to unqualified companies and
then when queried by the public, the government works backwards
and begins to formulate its forestry policies. This is not planning
but just an act to justify its action to dispose of the entire commercial
forest reserve of the state", he alleged.
Bandau member of parliament claimed that from information received
by PBS, the forestry department and other related agencies had thus
far never been consulted on the sub-division of the state’s commercial
forest reserve into 17 zones or divisions and their subsequent award
to private companies.
Ongkili also called on the chief minister to honour the Barisan
Nasional’s promise of awarding timber concession areas through tender.
the 1994 election campaign BN leaders promised the people of Sabah
that a BN government would no longer simply give timber areas to
anybody and would only award timber concessions to the highest bidder
through the tender process. Like most Sabah Baru promises this undertaking
has been ignored by the government.
with the 1994 promise and on behalf of the people of Sabah, we challenge
chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee to open the 17 commercial forest
zones for tender so that any member of the Malaysian public particularly
Sabahans can bid for the areas.
state government should accept this challenge if it was sincere
in fulfilling its 1994 election promises", he stressed.
present at the meeting was PBS secretary-general Radin Malleh, Tuaran
MP Yunof Meringking, Kunak divisional chief Abdullah Sahirun, and
other supreme council members and divisional leaders.