KUALA LUMPUR: Another listed Sarawak timber company, Jaya Tiasa Holding Bhd, has announced that it is cooperating fully with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the latter’s state-wide investigation into illegal logging activities.
Following Ta Ann Holdings’ lead on Wednesday, Jaya Tiasa yesterday told Bursa Malaysia that its unit Jaya Tiasa Timber Products Sdn Bhd (JTTP) was cooperating with the MACC. The timber product and palm oil producer pointed out that JTTP did not carry out logging activities.
Its main activity is purchasing logs, mainly from concessions owned by the Jaya Tiasa group for processing and marketing to end customers.
“The ongoing state-wide investigation by MACC is not expected to affect the day-to-day operations of JTTP,” it said.
Jaya Tiasa did not give details on how exactly JTTP was helping the MACC.
JTTP has an annual production capacity of 6.13 million cu metres of timber products, according to Jaya Tiasa’s latest annual report.
Jaya Tiasa’s timber division contributed 69% and 62% to the group’s revenue and pre-tax profit, respectively, for the financial year ended June 30, 2014. The logging division, which produced 1.051 cu metres of logs, contributed about 34% of the total group revenue.
The Jaya Tiasa group owns forest concession area of more than 713,200ha, with monthly extraction quota of 92,000 cu m according to a Star report,
In a major offensive against illegal logging and its associated corrupt practices in Sarawak, the MACC recently raided 48 log ponds, sawmills and business premises and seized 700 logs under Ops Gergaji. It has so far frozen more than 400 bank accounts containing about RM600mil and seized about 2,000 logs. Last month, the state legislative assembly passed the Forests Bill 2015 to increase penalties for timber-related offences.
The state government has also set up a task force on illegal logging, while the top six logging firms have signed corporate integrity pledges.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ta Ann Holdings had said it and two of its subsidiaries, Ta Ann Plywood Sdn Bhd and Lik Shen Sawmill Sdn Bhd, were cooperating fully with MACC’s investigation and that their operations were not affected.
In a filing with the bourse, Ta Ann said: “It has been the policy of Ta Ann Holdings to use only legal logs for timber processing at the group’s plywood mill and sawmill.
In 2014, Ta Ann Holdings had engaged an independent international third party, SGS (M) Sdn Bhd for Forest Sector Monitoring, to verify the legality and sustainability of our raw material input. Legal verification is also undertaken through the ‘Verified Legal’ certification by Global Forestry Service.”
Jaya Tiasa closed unchanged yesterday at RM1.65 while Ta Ann was up 4 sen at RM3.83.