Abang Johari announces short term timber licences to be issued by open tender with immediate effect
KUCHING: Short term timber licences in the state will only be issued through tender with immediate effect to ensure transparency in their issuance.
Announcing this new measure yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said that short term timber licences would be issued by Forest Department after the applications were vetted by a tender committee.
“Short term timber licence 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 licences shall be issued by open 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,” he said at a press conference at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
On the duration of short term licences, Abang Johari, who is also Resource Planning and Environment Minister, said it could be for about one year but it also depended on the area involved and the timber stands.
“You must have the inventory and development schedule and more or less, you will know the value of the timber there. So you open up to bidding.”
On the implementation of the tender process, Abang Johari said the Forest Department shall prepare the tender documents which would 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.”
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 licences for forest area 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, cess and other charges based on the volume of timber extracted and current rate.
He said short term timber license issued on state land forest that will expire this year will not be renewed unless such land had been approved for development, adding that the award of timber licenses for such areas will be by way of tender.
Also present during the press conference were State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Resource Planning and Environment permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman and Forest Department director Sapuan Ahmad.