Review RM4.3b pulp joint-venture
Thursday, 13 April
Kinabalu, Thurs.- Parti
Bersatu Sabah (PBS) today called on the state
government to review the implementation of the
proposed RM4.3 billion paper and pulp project
in light of serious concerns expressed by environmental
groups and ordinary Sabahans regarding the deal.
deputy president, Dr Maximus Ongkili, said the
sheer size of the project, substantial foreign
ownership, non-disclosure of the EIA report, and
the silent manner in which the project was approved
clearly demanded that the government should adopt
and open mind towards public feedback and comments
regarding the project.
Ongkili was commenting on reports quoting Chief
Minister Datuk Osu Sukam that the project would
proceed despite objections by various quarters
and the government apparently "will not accept
views that oppose our development plans for the
stern manner in which the government is defending
the project is amazing while at the same time
it is not even sure what tree species will be
planted in the 220,000 hectares to be cleared.
area alienated is not a small piece, stretching
from Kalabakan to Pensiangan. The people of Sabah
have the right to know what is happening," he
Bandau member of parliament claimed the area approved
included the Kalabakan Virgin Forest and numerous
state lands owned by interior farmers on native
customary rights (NCR) basis.
it is indeed true that virgin forest reserves
are involved and included a vast area of Yayasan
Sabah concession then the matter must first go
the State Assembly for approval before the project
can proceed. To our knowledge, the Yayasan Sabah
enactment does not provide power to sub-lease
any of its concession areas," he said.
Ongkili argued that enough forest areas had been
sold off or privatised by the State government,
particularly the 2 million hectares under the
Forest Management Units now owned by some twenty
large, non-Sabahan companies.
date there none of the FMU owners have started
doing reforestation and indeed many have not submitted
their forest management plans despite all the
grand promises. What makes the government think
that this new project involving another 220,000
hectares of our precious forests will succeed?"
we have repeatedly stressed, the whole forest
development plans of the BN government is nothing
more than an asset transfer between the state
and foreign corporations, with ordinary Sabahans
and their children being the big losers," he alleged.
Ongkili urged the government to disclose the full
details of the China-ICSB pulp deal and make public
the EIA report for the proposed project.