MIRI: An NGO here described the state of illegal logging and corruption in Sarawak’s timber sector as a complex web that would be difficult to unravel.
“It is widespread and very complicated. It will not be easy to tackle the problems, let alone eradicate them totally,” Michael Jok, the secretary of the Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak (Scrips), said yesterday.
He welcomed Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s statement on Monday that warned that corruption in the timber sectors must be stopped because it was affecting the image of the state.
Jok said it was good that Adenan was brave enough to deal with these issues publicly, adding that it was “a refreshing development” in Sarawak.
But he called on the state’s enforcement authorities to re-open the old reports on illegal logging and corruption in Sarawak in the interest of justice.
He said that many official reports had been lodged since the days when the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) was still in authority in Sarawak.
Jok added that these cases saw native rights groups and longhouse folks claiming massive illegal logging and corrupt practices by logging giants that were operating on native land.
“When the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was formed several years ago to replace the ACA, did it relook into the old cases lodged by Sarawak natives on illegal logging?
“These old cases must be reopened because many of them did not see any conclusive investigation by the ACA,” he said.
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