No time frame to end timber ban, says Shafie

Sabah’s log export ban will stay until further notice. (AFP pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Shafie Apdal today said the Sabah government had not decided when to lift the temporary ban on the export of timber.

He said the government needed time to ensure that the forestry sector could present maximum benefits to Sabahans and guarantee sufficient raw material for the downstream industry.

“I can’t give a specific time to end the ban… I don’t want to do a rushed job,” he said in response to a supplementary question during the question-and-answer session at the state assembly sitting here today.

He added that the government would carry out an in-depth study to ensure the protection and sustainable management of forestry products.

“This way, the state can directly create more job opportunities for Sabahans and uplift the economic standing of the local community,” he said.

“At the same time, the state government will conduct a thorough study on the issuance of previous timber concessions.”

He said this included matters such as illegal logging and its effects such as the destruction of forests, landslides, pollution and flash floods.

Once the study is completed, he said, the government will take appropriate action based on the rule of law.

The temporary ban on the export of logs was announced by Shafie in May. He said then that the ban was to safeguard the resources in the state.

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