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Timber exports stopped to meet needs of local factories

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd. Shafie Apdal being briefed by Superwood Industries Sdn Bhd Managing Director Tan Peng Juan

18th January, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The decision taken by the state government to stop timber exports was to meet the needs of the wood-based industry in Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said several timber product factories in the state were faced with problems in obtaining timber supplies and to continue operations they were forced to import from Peninsular Malaysia.

“I am aware that in the last four to five years, due to the insufficient supply, several wood-based factories were closed down and the services of 800 workers were terminated.

“However, I am confident that with the Sabah government’s policy in discouraging timber exports and putting priority on the wood-based industry here, the problem can be resolved,” he said when met by reporters after visiting two wood-based factories in Telipok near here Thursday.

Also present were Sabah State Secretary Datuk Hashim Paijan and Assistant Trade and Industry Minister Azhar Matussin.

In May last year, the state government stopped timber exports to ensure sufficient supply for the domestic industry. Mohd Shafie said Sabah had sufficient supply of timber to meet the needs of the local wood-based industry.

He said he had instructed the relevant agencies, especially the Sabah Foundation and Sabah Forestry Department to identify the wood species required by the industry to ensure there is adequate supply.

“We have more than sufficient supply of timber in the state but we must not cut down too many trees as the wildlife, especially the elephants need them as shelter,” he said.

Mohd Shafie added that meeting the needs of the wood-based industry was the new state government’s priority as the industry could create employment opportunities especially for youths in the state. –Bernama

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