KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Air Force in Sabah will be assisting the state Forestry Department to combat forest related crime soon.
Sabah chief forest conservator Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini said the department had a meeting with the Air Force commander for Sabah, ACP Ahmad Lokman Abdul Hadi about the matter on Oct 9, and have agreed to work together.
“This is the first of such meeting held between the Forestry Department and the Air Force; we will have more collaborations in future,” he said in a statement here on Friday (Oct 12).
He said the Air Force will be helping to watch over and trace any wrongdoings using helicopters.
“Such collaborations are in line with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s vision to combat crime, including in the forests of Sabah,” Mashor said.
He said among the areas that will be focused on during these sky patrols include protected areas, steep areas, logging zones, forest reserve encroachments and presence of illegal immigrants in protected mangrove areas, Gaharu plantation thieves and poaching.
ACP Ahmad said the Sabah Air Force has experience in tracking illegal loggers with the Sarawak Forestry Department for two years.
“Based on our experience, I am sure we will be able to do what is needed in Sabah as well,” he said.
A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed for this purpose very soon.