SARAWAK is developing a rating system to prevent forest fires, said state Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
He said the system would be based on the Canadian model.
He said landowners and property developers in Tudan and Senadin had been asked to submit action plans to check and prevent fires in their areas.
On the prevention of landslides, he said the Natural Resource and Environment Board had been directed to come up with guidelines on development at highlands and other environmentally-sensitive areas.
Awang Tengah, who is also Assistant Minister for Planning and Resource Management, said the government had approved 91 village expansion schemes with about 23,000 lots to beready by 2005.
On forest protection, he said the state now had 16 national parks, five nature reserves and five wildlife sanctuaries, adding that another 26 areas would be gazetted as totally protected areas to bring the total to a million hectares.
On the recruitment of foreign maids, he said the state Immigration Department did not recognise agents and applications had to be made directly by those employing the maids.
Awang Tengah added that there were some unscrupulous agents who preyed on and cheated prospective employers.