Sarawak to support amendments to National Forestry Act as long as no contradiction on state laws, says deputy minister


State Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh speaking to reporters after launching Sarawak Forestry Corporation's integrity day in Kuching. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak will support the amendments to the National Forestry Act as long as they do not contradict state laws, says the state Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister.

Datuk Len Talif Salleh said matters relating to land and forestry came under the jurisdiction of the state.

"If you look at the National Forestry Act, it provides the principles but the details and implementation are under our power.

"We have the power to implement state laws. So we support the Act as long as it doesn't contradict our laws," he told reporters after launching Sarawak Forestry Corporation's (SFC) integrity day here on Thursday (Nov 16).

Sarawak's forestry-related laws were the Forests Ordinance, National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance and Wildlife Protection Ordinance.

On Wednesday (Nov 15), Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad called on all state governments to support the amendments to the National Forestry Act, which were gazetted at Federal level in September.

He said its key improvements included tightening the process of degazetting and replacing permanent forest estates (PFE), introducing a public inquiry process before a PFE is degazetted and simultaneous replacement of the degazetted PFE.

In addition, the maximum penalty for forest offences was increased to a fine of RM5mil and jail term of 20 years.

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