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Over 100 Illegal Logging Cases In Sarawak Awaiting Federal AG’s Action

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KUCHING: The Sarawak Forestry Department said it had submitted over 100 cases of illegal logging to the Federal Attorney-General (AG)for prosecution.

Its director Sapuan Ahmad said the federal AG’s Chambers had yet to act on the cases.

He said to expedite prosecution, the state government is negotiating with the federal government for prosecution power to be handed down to the state AG.

“At the moment the prosecution power lies with the federal AG, not the state and for that reason it would be better for anything involving state laws to be handled by the state AG,” he told a press conference after launching a Heart of Borneo Government Agencies Workshop here today.

On claims of illegal logging at Kampung Danu, Padawan about 50 km from Kuching, he said the preliminary investigation showed that the timber were collected in the Bengoh Range National Park and some in the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

Once the investigation is completed and if there is evidence that the activities took place at the Bengoh Range National Park and NCR land the case would be submitted for prosecution, he said.

Sapuan said disciplinary action had been taken against the Sarawak Forestry Corporation officer allegedly involved in the case.

Asked on claims that certain Sarawak forestry department enforcement officers were trying to cover up some of the illegal logging activities, he advised the public to report them to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

About 90,000 cubic metres of logs were seized in 2014 following the war against illegal logging launched the same year, while 47,000 cubic metres of logs were seized in 2015.

Sapuan hoped enforcement agencies in the state would work as a team under the blue ocean strategy to fight against illegal logging as the forestry department was unable to do it alone due to Sarawak’s huge forest area.

— BERNAMA

 

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