Malaysia’s inflation rate up 2.8% in October

Posted on : 21-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

21 November 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose 2.8% in October from year ago, due to a spike in transport costs, but the overall rate was still below economists’ forecast of an increase of between 3% and 3.1%.
The Statistics Department said on Friday the inflation rate, which is measured by the consumer price index (CPI), increased by 0.5% from September. For January to October, the CPI increased by 3.2%.
The department said the higher CPI in October was due to the rise in the index for transport by 5.3%; restaurants and hotels (+4.6%).
As for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels, it increased by 3.4% and also rose at the same pace for health costs. Food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.8%.
“These five groups of goods and services contributed 95.3% to the increase in the CPI for the month of October this year,” it said.
The department said when compared with September, the CPI for October increased by 0.5% due to higher transport costs ( +5.1%) while for health and restaurants & hotels, there was a 0.1% increase respectively.
The CPI for January-October increased by 3.2% to 110.2 from the previous corresponding period.
It said the increase has due to higher costs for alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+11.9%); transport ( +4.9%); restaurants and hotels (+4.8%); food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 3.5% and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+3.3%).
(Source: The Star)
21 November 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose 2.8% in October from year ago, due to a spike in transport costs, but the overall rate was still below economists’ forecast of an increase of between 3% and 3.1%.

More strategies needed to spur biotechnology growth — Najib

Posted on : 20-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 20, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: More aggressive strategies are needed to spur and sustain the growth of the biotechnology industry beyond 2020 as the complexity of the bio-based industry increases, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday.
In this regard, he said, the role of BioNexus companies in Malaysia’s bioeconomy would undoubtedly become more prominent in ensuring a sustainable economic growth.
“The third phase of the National Biotechnololgy Policy, which will begin in 2016, will focus on global business, where the target is for Malaysia to become a global player by 2020,” he said.
Najib said this at the opening of the BioMalaysia and Asia Pacific Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition 2014 here yesterday.
Currently, Malaysia has 240 BioNexus companies with a total approved investments of over RM4.41 billion.
Najib said the strategy would focus on collectively strengthening BioNexus companies, the universities and research institutes, whereby these companies would be able to tap the resources available to increase their innovation and strengthen their research and development capability through this framework.
He said the bio-based industries were considered a strategic high-impact, high-growth and high-technology sector capable of driving the development of innovative conversion technologies.
Najib said this would generate new economic opportunities and create a broad spectrum of pioneering industry segments in the country.
“Bioeconomy has been identified as a game changer for Malaysia’s economy.
“With our biodiversity and the abudance of biological resources, bioeconomy has the potential to increase the country’s economic competitiveness, creates more job opportunitites, enhance healthcare, ensure food security and address environmental as well as sustainability concerns,” he said.
He said the government, through the efforts of Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation and BiotechCorp, was currently embarking on a comprehensive development agenda that promoted the use of renewable chemicals and bio-based products, through an initiative called the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP).
“As we push the boundaries of transformation to ensure that the changes are truly holistic and inclusive, encompassing economic, governance as well as social and political aspects, the BTP initiative is really a crucial component of the government’s economic transformation agenda,” he said.
Najib said total approved investments in Malaysia’s bio-based industry from 2011 to date had more than doubled to RM18.98 billion compared with the target of RM9 billion previously set for the 2011-2015 period.
He said this significant achievement for Phase 2 of the National Biotechnololgy Policy had generated benefits to the people and nation, by creating jobs for graduates, providing exposure to innovative and cutting-edge technology.
Bioeconomy agenda in Malaysia aims to achieve RM48 billion in gross national income in 2020, attract RM50 billion in investments and create 170,000 job opportunities by 2020.
“This Bioeconomy Transformation Programme initiative will make it easier for local bio-based companies to grow even faster to complete in the international market, simultaneously create broader income opportunities and enhance the value of our nation’s human capital,” he said.
Najib said the government was aware of the shortage of talent faced by biotech enterprises, adding that this could be solved through innovative partnerships between the government, private and public institutions.
“We need to develop the needed human capital resources by equipping talents with the necessary skills and knowledge, fostering an innovative culture and improving performance through training,” he said.
Najib said universities and other institutions of higher learning could certainly be positioned to be the main providers of knowledge-workers to fill the job opportunities created by the bio-based industry.
The prime also also witnessed six collaborations to strengthen Malaysia’s biotechnology and bioeconomy growth, with investments valued totalling more than RM250 million. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
November 20, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: More aggressive strategies are needed to spur and sustain the growth of the biotechnology industry beyond 2020 as the complexity of the bio-based industry increases, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday.

Petronas csr programme for sabah’s rural areas to be launched early next year

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 17, 2014
Najib delivering his speech during the opening of PBS’ 29th Annual Delegates’ Conference. Also seen are Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman ( fourth left) and Pairin (third right). — Bernama photo
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced yesterday that Petronas will launch a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme specifically for Sabah’s rural areas early next year.
He said more CSR programmes were needed in Sabah to ensure a more balanced development between urban and rural areas as well as to improve facilities and infrastructure in these areas.
“(Parti Bersatu Sabah president) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (in his speech at PBS’ annnual delegates conference) had said that although there was development in terms of schools and housing in Sabah’s rural areas, there are still people who are poor.
“It is our aim to help so that there is more development in Sabah in line with the development agenda in the peninsula,” he said when opening Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) 29th Annual Delegates’ Conference here yesterday.
“I also agree that CSR programmes be increased in Sabah especially in the rural areas. I will be coming to Sabah early next year to launch Petronas’ CSR programme for the rural areas) here,” he added.
Also present were Sabah Chief Minister and state Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Sabah BN secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Najib said the move was a commitment by the government to develop and help the people of Sabah, especially the poor.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said at present, the state government received five per cent in petroleum royalty or RM1 billion a year besides a 10 per cent stake in Petronas LNG Train 9 Sdn Bhd in Bintulu, Sarawak, which gave additional income to the people of Sabah.
“We understand the people of Sabah wanting more petroleum royalty but what is important is not the royalty but the income of the state.
“If you want, we can give out shares in the Sabah Ammonia-Urea Project (Samur), so that the people of Sabah can benefit from the petroleum investment,” he said.
On the issue of security, Najib said the government gave secuiruty in Sabah top priority and had approved an allocation of RM660 million to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESScom) for this purpose.
He said the federal government with the cooperation of Petronas was renovating some oil rigs off Sabah’s east coast, which would function as the first-line of defence, to have radar systems besides stationing navy personnel and other teams there as well as equipping the ESSCom with speed boats.
He also expressed his thanks to the security forces for combating cross-border crime on the east coast of Sabah recently, which was proof of the government’s stern action in the case. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
November 17, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced yesterday that Petronas will launch a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme specifically for Sabah’s rural areas early next year.

Najib: Form is visually different from certificate

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 17, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The birth record document, which will replace the birth certificates issued for stateless children in Malaysia, especially in Sabah, is to allay fears that they will end up becoming automatic citizens.

World’s 1st commercially hatched lobster

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

17 November 2014

TUARAN: A small high-tech facility here became the envy of many as it recorded the world’s first commercially hatched ornate spiny lobsters, or Panulirus ornatus.

The success of the Integrated Lobster Aquaculture Park (iLAP) Mini Commercial Hatchery marked a massive leap for the state in cutting-edge technology, taking Malaysia closer to the global market for lobsters, valued at US$4 billion (RM13.4 billion) annually.

Kota Kinabalu’s UTC ePerolehan to offer GST registration advice

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 17, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The ePerolehan (ePC) Centre at the Urban Transformation Centre(UTC) Sabah here, will offer companies registration services for the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Federal Govt will uphold 10-point solution: Najib

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 17, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government is committed to upholding the 10-point solution with religious groups which among others allow for the unhindered importation of Christian religious materials into Sabah and Sarawak.

20 years more to return timber as key contributor

Posted on : 17-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 17, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: It will take Sabah 20 years more to return timber as a major contributor to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said Sabah Forestry Director Datuk Sam Mannan.

At present, timber revenue is at a historic low, generating around RM100 to RM150 million annually, which he described as a ‘famine’ period.

Najib assures Sabah of more revenue from oil and gas resources

Posted on : 16-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 16, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has assured Sabah that it would continue to get more revenue from its oil and gas resources.

The prime minister said apart from the oil and gas royalty of five per cent, Sabah was also given a 10 per cent stake in Petronas LNG Train 9 Sdn Bhd in Bintulu, Sarawak, which would generate an additional revenue to the state and its people.

RCI report goes public next month

Posted on : 16-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

16th November, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Reports on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah will be made public next month.

And Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Upko honorary president and former federal minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok will be appointed to lead a committee to refine the reports and take subsequent action.

Sabah promotes use of crude palm oil to cushion impact of price volatility

Posted on : 12-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

12th November, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is promoting the use of crude palm oil for downstream value-adding industries to cushion the impact of price volatility in the global commodity market.
The move broadens and increases the state’s revenue as well as generates spin-offs in terms of jobs, new business and new wealth opportunities; the State Assembly was told yesterday.
Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah cited the state-owned palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu (POIC Lahad Datu) as an example where more than 40 investors have committed about RM3.6 billion in palm oil downstream and related industries.
He revealed that Genting Plantations Berhad and its American joint-venture partner are investing RM1.7 billion in POIV Lahad Datu to develop the state’s first integrated bio-refinery complex.
He was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Lajim Haji Ukin (PKR-Klias) during question time of the State Assembly sitting yesterday.
Lajim, the opposition whip, had asked about the declining prices of crude palm oil from which the 7% sales tax collected is a major source of state revenue.
Raymond, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said price decline affects every CPO producer because it is an internationally traded commodity. However, CPO prices between RM2, 323.50-RM2, 441 per metric ton between January-September this year was better than the same period last year.
CPO prices are influenced by a number of factors, including the price of crude petroleum which has dropped sharply in recent months. The factors are cyclical softening of demand in major consuming countries, impact of other vegetable oil prices and output affected by weather phenomenon.
While the state government initiated POIC Lahad Datu (since 2005) to encourage domestic utilisation of CPO, the federal government through the Ministry of Plantation Industry and Commodities (MPIC) has intensified the use of biodiesel (made from CPO) to reduce CPO stockpile.
Since April this year, the B5 (5% biodiesel with 95% fossil diesel) programme has fully introduced in Peninsular Malaysia. The programme, which will be upgraded to B7 next year, is being implemented in phases in Sabah and Sarawak.
“The B7 programme will use up an estimated 700,000 metric tons of CPO per year,” said the Minister.
To develop wider market for palm oil and related products, MPIC and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board have conducted promotion missions to countries like Russia, Iran, Turkey and Europe, aside from traditional export destinations such as China, India and Pakistan.
He revealed that Malaysia’s CPO to China grew 5.6% to 3.7 million tons in 2013, 6.3% to 1.4 million tons to Pakistan and 15.8% to 600,000 tons to Iran.
Through bilateral negotiations such as Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade Agreement, Malaysia-Trans-Pacific Partnership, Malaysia-EU FTA and Asean FTA, Malaysian parties are also trying to traverse tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to secure markets for CPO.
“These efforts resulted in Malaysia doubling its CPO export to Turkey in 2014 to 80,000 tons and increase export to EU by 5.2% to 2.3 million tons.” Raymond added.
(Source: New Sabh Times)
12th November, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is promoting the use of crude palm oil for downstream value-adding industries to cushion the impact of price volatility in the global commodity market.

KL pumping RM4b next year: CM

Posted on : 11-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 11, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The State Government was allocated a total of RM4.07 billion from the Federal Government to undertake various projects in six different segments next year. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the projects include housing, road, electricity and water facilities in the rural areas, poverty eradication programmes and other projects under the State Government.
For housing, he said, the Federal Government had allocated RM272,850,000 such as for the People Housing Project in Kota Belud, Kudat and Putatan.
“In terms of infrastructure, RM165,585,255 had been reserved for road construction such as the Maliau Basin Road Project in Tawau, Sabah Perhubungan Desa Road Project and road project to Sejahtera Mini Estate (Mesej) in Kg Timpangoh Laut, Penampang.
“The Federal Government also had allocated RM99,250,000 for Sabah to implement the Rural Water Supply Project,” he said during question and answer session at the State Assembly sitting, Monday.
Musa was replying to a question by Klias Assemblyman, Datuk Lajim Ukin. He added that RM80,774,000 would be channelled towards projects aimed at eradicating poverty in the State including Bumiputera Minority Special Programme and Water Tank Supply projects. State Government projects under the Sabah Development Corridor such as the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Water Treatment Plant and Piping in Beaufort, Water Supply and Water Treatment in Keningau, Phase 2 of the System Average Interruption Duration Index (Saidi) Reduction project and the Generation System Enhancement through Hydro-Electric Power Station Construction in Upper Padas for 1,800MW in Tenom.
“The State Government is confident that with the implementation of these projects and the programmes, the quality of life of all Sabahans especially those in the rural areas, will improve,” he said.
Although some of the funds such as the water treatment plants in Keningau and Beaufort are actually loans and, thus, reducing the real amount of allocation from Federal, Musa said the most important thing is that the Federal Government is always ready to make funds available for the State whenever the need arises.
“For example, when we suffered natural disasters and we needed money to repair damages to the roads and bridges in the State which could reach up to hundreds of millions of ringgit, the Prime Minister almost always approved our requests.
“It’s true we have already been given fixed funds, but these additional funds, there is no end to them. Whenever we need money, when we are in trouble, we would not hesitate to ask for funds from the Federal. “So there is no problem there,” he said.
Musa also affirmed that while the fund for the Pan-Borneo Highway was not included in the total allocation received by the State Government, the amount of money already invested in the project is indeed huge.
The fund, he added, was channelled through Federal ministries and both Sabah and Sarawak governments are still waiting for the RM2.7billion allocated for the project. “The total fund which we will receive will depend on the length of that highway.
If it is longer in Sabah, then naturally, we will receive more and vice versa,” he said.
(Source: Daily Express)
November 11, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The State Government was allocated a total of RM4.07 billion from the Federal Government to undertake various projects in six different segments next year. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the projects include housing, road, electricity and water facilities in the rural areas, poverty eradication programmes and other projects under the State Government.

RM1.7b KKIP compensation

Posted on : 11-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 11, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sixteen participants at Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) here will get their respective land compensations totaling RM1.706 million from the government, by next week.
Industrial Development Assistant Minister Datuk Bolkiah Ismail said the High Court here has endorsed the amount to be paid to the 16 people and the Land and Survey Department has received the warrant payment on July 10, this year.
“The Land and Survey Department has informed that the amount of RM1.706 million has been made available for this year.
“However, the payment would be issued once the State A-G and the department received the seal Court Orders and Judgment from the registrar of High Court Kota Kinabalu,” he said.
Bolkiah was replying to Inanam assemblyman Dr. Roland Chia Ming Shen during question time at the State Legislative Assembly, here, on Monday.
Chia asked on when the amount to be issued to the 16 people who has not been compensated by KKIP since 2012.
Until now, Bolkiah said the government as a respondent in the case has not been supplied with the vital documents.
Hence, he said the 16 participants and their respective counsels should take the initiative of getting the official Court Orders and the Judgment that have been signed.
Meanwhile, Infrastructure Development Assistant Minister Datuk Bobbey A. Suan said the shortage of water supply in Keningau would be resolved once a Keningau Supply Water Project is expected to be completed end of this year.
He said there would additional supply of 70 million litres per day of clean water under the project.
Bobbey was replying to Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr. Jeffrey G.Kitingan during the question time at the State Legislative Assembly here on Monday.
He said Keningau is currently facing a shortage of water supply by 30 per cent compared to the current demand, which caused areas at the end of water distributions and hilly areas are facing disruptions on the water supply from time to time.
Among the affected villages, he said are Kg,Tonobon Baru, Kg.Toboh Baru, Kg. Kota Ayangan, Kg.Bunga Raya, Kg. Apin-Apin and Kg.Liposu.
However, Bobbey said the ministry through its Water Department always monitor the shortage situation and will do water rationing and send water to the affected villages.
(Source: Daily Express)
November 11, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sixteen participants at Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) here will get their respective land compensations totaling RM1.706 million from the government, by next week.

Sabah Forestry aims to be model world class – director

Posted on : 10-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 10, 2014
Musa putting a book into the shelf to mark the launching of the publi-cation in commemoration of Sabah Forestry Department’s 100th year celebration.
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Forestry Department will try anything and everything to increase the value, sanctity and chances of sustainability of the rainforest heritage.
Its director, Datuk Sam Mannan, stated this during the Sabah Forestry Department’s centennial celebration at Padang Merdeka here yesterday.
He recalled that success is a series of mistakes and failures along the way, but the end game is to lead the tropical world, not just South East Asia, in innovative ideas and solutions.
“If we want to make a difference, it must be world class, a model to be proud of. Otherwise, forget it,” he said.
Sam further explained in his speech that Sabah has the world’s first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified rainforest at Deramakot, the only known Great Apes Survival Project for Orang Utans at Danum Valley and Ulu Segama.
He also listed the South East Asia’s best nature education centre at the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), and the next could be the best Botanical Garden in the tropics here in Kota Kinabalu, better than Central Park, that is just one example, he added.
Sam also said that during the department’s recent visit to the Royal Society in London, the former British High Commissioner to Malaysia had expressed to him that when Sabah’s conservation policy was first launched (starting with preserving Ulu Segama), the British High Commissioner to Malaysia was a bit skeptical.
“But over the years, he indicated that he is pleased and enlightened that we are actually serious and mean business, and I think he is part of the Royal Society team, promoting further collaboration with Sabah,” he explained.
“We have been extremely lucky that the most important decision maker, the Chief Minister, has promised on what he can deliver, and delivered what he actually promised, despite the political risks and earning some unpopularity in the process of choosing the right path,” he said,  adding that the Chief Minister has a ‘brave heart’.
Present at the event were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, Sabah State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman, former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and chairman of the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Center Bhd, Tun Jeanne Abdullah.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
November 10, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Forestry Department will try anything and everything to increase the value, sanctity and chances of sustainability of the rainforest heritage.
Its director, Datuk Sam Mannan, stated this during the Sabah Forestry Department’s centennial celebration at Padang Merdeka here yesterday.

Forestry Dept marks centennial joy

Posted on : 10-11-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

November 10, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Forestry Department celebrates its centennial anniversary with key milestone achievements, particularly in its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) programmes that saw 53 per cent of about 3.9 million hectares of the State’s land mass become permanent Forest Reserves, Protection Areas and Wildlife Conservation Areas.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said this showed the SFM introduced in 1997 by the Forestry Department as a turnaround plan has come to fruition.
“It has been made a policy that any de-reservation of these protected areas must be replaced with equal or better forests,” he said at the launch of the Sabah Forestry Department’s centennial celebration at Padang Merdeka, here, Sunday. Additionally, he said Sabah has placed about two million hectares of commercial Forest Reserves under the Sustainable Forest Management Licence Agreement (SFMLA). Some 30 licence holders were subscribing to the highest order of forest management standards, such as those set by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Musa said it must be noted that Sabah has restored and planted forests well over 500,000 hectares, presumably the largest such undertaking in the tropics, and designated Ulu Segama-Malua (USM) totalling 241,000 hectares as a protected area to support the orang-utan habitat, which is dubbed as the largest in the world and a model for Unesco’s Great Apes Survival Project programmes. “We have and will continue to promote Sabah as the hub for tropical rainforest research involving renowned international research organisation such as The Royal Society of the United Kingdom as well as key local higher learning institutions, and Sabah has pioneered several innovative initiatives such as carbon sequestration or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), and bio-banking,” he said.
“We have declared some 1.3 million hectares or 20 per cent of the State’s land mass as Totally Protected Areas (TPAs), surpassing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s requirement of 10 per cent. And we have set a target of 30 per cent of TPAs within the next 10 years,” he said.
Other visionary steps taken were the development and implementation of Reduced Impact Logging, which has been made mandatory since 2011. “We pioneered Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for tropical forests, with Deramakot being the first and longest FSC certified forest in the world.
“Sabah has embarked on key conservation initiatives of regional importance such as the Heart of Borneo (HoB), involving some four million hectares or about 20 per cent of the total area within Borneo designated for this initiative,” he said.
“I am pleased to report that we improved forest governance through the introduction of third party auditing and provision of other safeguards, increasing the credibility of the department and state on forest law enforcement, governance and trade,” he said.
He commended the Sabah Forestry Department for successfully projecting the good name and efforts of the State’s forestry programme internationally, attracting international organisations, donors and NGOs to support and assist in the State’s endeavours. “Currently, there are about 31 Agreements and Memorandum of Understandings entered into with at least RM75 million worth of external funds invested into the development of forests in the State,” he said.
Musa said a hundred years of existence was significant not only for the Sabah Forestry Department but also for the people of Sabah, especially those who are closely associated with or depend upon the forest and forestry since colonial days.
In line with this celebration’s theme — “For the Greatest Good, and for the Greatest Number, in the Long Run,” it was only apt to take reflect on the significance of forests being the greatest good that led to the birth of the Sabah Forestry Department in 1914. According to him, commercial exploitation of the forest escalated only after Sabah gained independence in the 60s, and the high dependence on forests for revenue then was inevitable as Sabah was in dire need of resources to support its socio-economic development agenda in its formative years.
As a result, coupled with unsustainable harvesting practices, Sabah’s forest was depleted leaving behind secondary forests that were low in productivity in terms of quality timber yield. If left unchecked, the repercussions would have been widespread and devastating affecting the economic viability of the forest and putting at risk the many functions of forests that are crucial for sustaining life such as water and biodiversity, he said.
Eventually, it led to the Sabah Government diversifying its income base, focusing on the priority areas of tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. “While efforts were then put in place to recreate a healthy and productive forest that would be able to support further development and use of the forest to generate optimum and sustainable benefits to the State. “This is achieved through rebuilding the timber resource base, promoting greater use of non-wood forest produce, establishing a foundation for the capitalisation of environmental services, exploration of biodiversity and biotechnology and diversification towards a value-added forest-based industry,” he said.
“This development agenda remains relevant and we believe that with sufficient resources, the forest can be fully revived in 20 years time.”
Musa paid tribute to the strong leadership of current Sabah Forestry Department Director Datuk Sam Mannan and his able staff. From a humble beginning with only six staff when it was first formed in 1914, the department has grown over the years and at present is a proud organisation of 2,000 staff with 27 District Forestry Offices, which was necessary to assume broader responsibilities in tandem with changing landscapes of the forest and the forestry sector.
“I believe the department will continue to further excel and move on to greater heights. Let me assure you that you have my support as Chief Minister, including to further expand on initiatives that safeguard Sabah’s forests.
CAPTION: Musa, together with former PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah and Sabah Forest Department Director Sam Mannan touring an exhibition booth at Padang Merdeka.
(Source: Daily Express)

November 10, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Forestry Department celebrates its centennial anniversary with key milestone achievements, particularly in its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) programmes that saw 53 per cent of about 3.9 million hectares of the State’s land mass become permanent Forest Reserves, Protection Areas and Wildlife Conservation Areas.