Sarawak must stop timber corruption

Posted on March 8, 2011


Opposition blog Sarawak Report has highlighted how it has organised demonstrations in London, Ottawa and Seattle…against timber corruption, no less!

Unfortunately, the opposition-backed Sarawak Report blog is sometimes too blatantly political in implementing its tactics, that it’s obviously not the forests or the people that they really care about, but the political ambitions of a few individuals.

Whatever timber corruption means, I believe it should be stopped. The combination of timber AND corruption really SOUNDS bad and I must agree that it has to be stopped.

Knowing the opposition blog Sarawak Report, somehow the combination of the two words would no doubt be added to the combination of the words Taib AND Mahmud, as well.

I have to give it to this particular opposition blog, it has always stayed ON MESSAGE all this while.

For sure, this is the direct influence of the sister-in-law of a former British Prime Minister and also the experienced political bloggers from 1Malaya. The Sarawakians in the team are also instrumental as they have contributed greatly to supplying content that is meant to both hurt and harm.

I am sure that the demonstrators are not complaining about timber being corrupted by termites, although I am against that too.

The demonstrators are actually upset about two things; timber and corruption. So it was only natural to combine the two, so that they only need to protest once, instead of twice. Judging by the size of the crowd, it would have been hard to get a repeat performance.

I don’t want to be perceived as mocking efforts to save the environment and save the rainforests but the attempt made by the people behind the opposition Sarawak Report blog was so half-arsed that it really makes me quite upset!

Then they had the cheek to spin the story to make it sound like such a brilliant event. I’m sure the most brilliant thing about the protests were the sessions at the pub later.

Back to timber corruption, I have to say that Sarawak is both blessed and cursed to have within its borders one of the last remaining rainforests in the world today.

I say blessed because the rainforest provides a financial boon for Sarawak, in terms of the timber and treasure trove of biodiversity it can provide for the State economy. Fascination with the rainforest also brings tourism money, which is always good money.

I also say cursed though, because by the mere fact that Sarawak is one of the last governments to have a rainforest means that others-who have cut down their forests long before we did-get very mad when we try to harvest our forests for timber. An important source of income for our people, by the way.

But if we’ve done so terribly over the past decades, how come we STILL have forests left and others don’t?

If our record in conservation is so bad, how come we can plant oil palms and develop planted forests and build dams and STILL have a sizeable amount of rainforest left?

And don’t forget that the Sarawak Chief Minister just announced that he wants to make the central region of Sarawak into the best eco-tourism destination in South East Asia under the SCORE initiative.

It won’t be difficult if you see how much rainforest we actually have left, and which will actually be intact for generations to come.

I believe that the current government has always tried, to the best of its abilities, to implement a sustainable forest management system.

This means we no cut down all our trees and we no kill all our orang utans, as some of you out there would like to believe. Silly Sarawak Report.

But, as the title of this posting proposes, we really must stop timber corruption because it defeats the purpose of the government’s sustainable forestry management initiatives, doesn’t it?

Timber corruption that leads to illegal logging occurs deep in the jungles of Sarawak, where elements of organized crime are said to profit by paying off enforcement officers to turn a blind eye to their activities.

The gangsters are claimed to be the minor players in the timber industry but the fact that they’re cash rich means they can do a lot of damage to our rainforests.

It’s hard for the large timber concession owners to get away with such things, and for them it makes more financial sense to play by the rules, anyway.

So, I believe that if we want to protect our rainforests, we should invest more in enforcement efforts against illegal logging and we may need to seek help from across the South China Sea in this area.

Instead of protesting in foreign lands, maybe we need to spend more time thinking of a better solution on how to save our beloved rainforests in Sarawak.

Those who really care about the rainforests should all sit down together, and this includes those in the government, whose job it is to care AND also those in NGOs, whose job it is genuinely to care.

More importantly, we shouldn’t stop caring when the elections are over.






Posted in: environment, SCORE