Perak MB: Forest contract given based on experience of directors

PETALING JAYA: Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu today said a new company, said to have a paid-up capital of only RM2, was given the contract to replant 400ha of forest reserve in the state on the basis of the vast experience of its directors.

“I do not know the two directors. But, looking at the background of the two directors, they have the expertise to replant and bring in revenue within a certain time frame,” he told reporters at a function in Perak.

The menteri besar said he would cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which is investigating the matter.

This follows a complaint filed by several NGOs and Kampar MP Thomas Su, who said the contract was given to a firm with a paid-up capital of only RM2.

Faizal expressed hope that an in-depth probe would be carried out as he did not want any “repeat of mismanagement as seen under Barisan Nasional”.

Faizal said any decision on the selection of a company was based on recommendations made by many concerned departments, including the Forestry Department.

The expertise of the management was given priority over the company’s years in existence, he added.

Faizal said the two directors had vast experience in the replanting of forests and would be able to work together with the Malaysia Timber Industry Board to redevelop the forests.

He added that it was the previous state government which had decided that any forest that did not produce yields would have to undergo replanting.

Yesterday, Su told FMT that the state government should issue a clarification on a letter which had gone viral recently.

Su claimed that according to the letter, the company was awarded the concession by the Perak Forest Resources Committee in December.

The concession was meant for the replanting of 400ha of forests in the Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta reserves.

FMT’s checks with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) revealed that two men, with “Datuk” titles, are the directors of the company.

According to the SSM documents, the company’s nature of business is “growing of plants for planting, commodity brokers and dealers”.

Previously, environmental NGOs had raised concerns of suspicious land-clearing activities at the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve.