Sarawak agrees to simplify application process for swiftlet house licences

SIBU: The Sarawak government is looking into simplifying the application procedures for bird's nest-related licences following a request from traders and farmers.

It will also consider returning the RM3mil worth of bird's nests seized by Sarawak Forest Corporation (SFC) enforcement officers in Sibu on May 3, said Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

In a statement on Friday (June 9), he said he led a delegation to meet with Sarawak State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki on June 6.

"After understanding the issue, Mohamad Abu Bakar has pledged to help streamline the industry.

"He also pledged to coordinate with relevant agencies to help traders and unlicensed operators to complete the application process in order to ensure that all products are sold in compliance with existing guidelines," he said.

Tiong said apart from ensuring food safety, the move was also aimed at protecting the rights and interests of traders.

"Once the traders are legitimised, we expect that unpleasant incidents such as the seizure will be prevented to stop more unnecessary business losses,' said Tiong, who is also Dudong assemblyman.

Swiftlet nest house operators, he said, have been complaining of the lengthy process to obtain permits, which had resulted in many of such businesses in Sarawak operating without one.

He said the authorities need to review and streamline the application process as well as shorten the time for approval.

"At the same time, we will also discuss how to settle the case of the confiscated bird's nests with the Attorney General Chambers and other enforcement agencies involved," he added.

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