Short term timber licenses obtainable by tender from now on – Abang Johari

Abang Johari Tun Openg

Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The state government wants to further enhance its forest governance policy by improving the procedures of issuing short term timber license by way of tender process.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was to ensure that the issuance of short term timber licenses are made in a transparent manner.

“Short term timber license are only issued for state land forest which have been approved for development and Native Customary Land (NCL) Development Area and Native Communal Reserve that shall undergo development. These licenses shall be issued by open tender,” he said in a press conference at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

In the implementation of the tender process, Abang Johari said the Forest Department would prepare the tender documents which will include, among others: the land status, locality, land size, estimate of timber stands and accessibility.

“The Forest Department shall also make an estimate of the timber stands that shall be valued based on land size and quality of the existing stands in order to determine the reserve price for a particular tender.

“The tender will be advertised in local newspapers and website of the Forest Department and the Forest Department is to ensure that the closing date of tenders shall be at least 30 days after date of publication.”

Abang Johari said the tender process is effective immediately for state land approved for development and not subject to any Native Customary Rights (NCR) claims.

Meanwhile, he said the Forest Department shall fine-tune the mechanism for the award of timber licenses for forest areas on land subject to NCR, taking into consideration the interests of the community involved.

According to Abang Johari, the successful bidders are still subject to payment of royalty, premium, assess and other charges based on the volume of timber extracted and current rate.

He said short term timber license issued on state land forests that will expire this year will not be renewed unless such land has been approved for development, adding that the award of timber licenses for such areas will be by way of tender.