Sabah to ban timber exports temporarily


Sabah will temporarily ban timber exports to ensure sufficient supply for the domestic industry, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (picture).

He said the soon-to-be-implemented temporary ban would help the local industry — such as furniture — to grow and this would provide more employment opportunities to the people of the state.

“I will inform the Forestry Department and relevant authorities on the temporary export ban on timber until further notice issued by the state government,” he said.

Mohd Shafie, who is also Sabah finance minister, was speaking to reporters after attending a briefing on Yayasan Sabah at the Menara Tun Mustapha in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Commenting on the briefing, Mohd Shafie said he had explained to Yayasan Sabah regarding its direction as one of the state government’s important agencies, on its role in developing human capital and skills from among the people of Sabah.

He said a clear direction is necessary to ensure the wealth owned by the foundation could be fully utilised by people in the state.

“As I have mentioned, Yayasan Sabah has enough resources in terms of landbank, timber resources and oil palm, but it needs to be fully utilised by the foundation as its main revenue, instead of getting involved in activities in ‘grey areas’.

“Or, venturing into something that they are not very familiar with — as they neither have the expertise nor the capacity, and are not financially strong enough to venture into such high-risk activities… so, we will reduce such undertakings,” he added.

On scholarships for Sabahans, Mohd Shafie said Yayasan Sabah would continue and be ready to consider increasing the number of recipients of its scholarship depending on its ability.

He also said he was not entirely satisfied with the briefing yesterday, and wanted a further briefing from the foundation as he views what is going on the field did not reflect on what he was just being informed.

On the bonus distribution under Amanah Saham Sabah to the people, Mohd Shafie said he would rather provide employment opportunities to the people as it is more sustainable than giving out bonuses. — Bernama