Sabah Forestry’s Mannan gets the boot

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Con­ser­vator of Forests Datuk Sam Mannan (pic) has been given three months’ notice of termination of service.

This was confirmed by a highly placed source in the Sabah Fores­try Department.

The notice comes in the midst of a massive probe into illegal logging in Sabah.

Mannan has been given three months’ notice effective Aug 1, added the sources.

The letter, signed by the State Secretary from the State Public Service Commission, also thank­ed him for his services.

The state government has made no official statement on the matter so far, but a senior Forestry source confirmed that the Commission has issued the notice.

Mannan has been serving as Forestry Department director for nearly two decades with a two-year break during his tenure.

Graft-busters have begun mo­­ving against Sabah’s powerful timber cartels, conducting simultaneous raids on three logging companies in Sandakan and Tawau last week.

The Forestry Department headquarters in Sandakan was also raided on Aug 1, with a team of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigators spending several hours searching for important documents.

The Star reported that the investigating team was looking for logging deals signed by the previous Barisan Nasional state government, headed by former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

It is learnt that during the raids by three separate MACC teams at the logging company offices, two in Sandakan and one in Tawau, documents pertaining to logging were seized.

It is understood that the companies that were raided belonged to the big three Sabah loggers who had allegedly obtained major logging concessions across the state.

The raids came in the wake of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal ordering a log ex­­port ban that was, among others, aimed at breaking up a timber cartel that had been monopolised by one party for more than a de­cade.

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