Sarawak state uses open tenders to keep logging under close watch

Sarawak will issue only short-term timber licences through open tenders. — filepic

KUCHING: The Sarawak government, with immediate effect, will only issue short-term timber licence by way of tender process.

This is to ensure that issuance of short-term timber licences are made in a transparent manner, announced Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg here Thursday.

He added that the short-term timber licence would only be issued by open tender process for stateland forest that had been approved for development, as well as native customary land development area and native communal reserve earmarked for development.

“The tender process is effective immediately for stateland approved for development and not subject to any Native Customary Rights (NCR) claims.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department shall fine-tune the mechanism for the award of timber licences for forest area on land subject to NCR, taking into consideration the interest of the community involved,” he told a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

In the implementation of the tender process, Abang Johari who is also Minister of Resource Planning and Environment said the Forest Department would prepare the tender documents, which would include among others, the land status, locality, land size, estimate of timber stands and accessibility.

Forestry will also make an estimate of the timber stands, which shall be valued based on land size and quality of the existing stands, to determine the reserve price for a particular tender.

The tender will be advertised in local newspapers and website of the Forest Department.

He added that the department must ensure that the closing date of tenders should at least be 30 days after date of publication.

Abang Johari said successful bidders would still be subject to payment of royalty, premium, cess and other charges based on the volume of timber extracted and community involved.

He also said that short-term timber licence issued on state land forest expiring this year would not be renewed, unless such land had been approved for development.

The award of timber licences for such areas would be by way of tender, he continued.

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