MTIB: We’re not involved in Perak forest plantation project

Malaysian Timber Industry Board chairman Wong Tack.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has denied that it is cooperating with the company involved in the forest plantation project at the Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta forest reserves in Perak.

Its chairman, Wong Tack, said the use of permits for the 400ha forest plantation project at the two forest reserves was approved on Dec 14, 2018, and given to a company under the authority of the Perak Forestry Department and not MTIB or its subsidiary, Forest Plantation Sdn Bhd (FPDSB).

“The management of the company has no links with MTIB, had never been in contact with MTIB, and had no intentions to cooperate on the Forest Plantation Project under the Forest Plantation Development Programme managed by FPDSB,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu’s statement on the board’s involvement in the project during a media briefing on Feb 12.

Wong said companies or government agencies applying for financing under MTIB’s Forest Plantation Development Programme needed to fulfil stringent conditions.

“For the Forest Plantation Development Programme, a project must be carried out on government or privately-owned land and not on permanent forest reserves.

“The exception will be for land allocated for use as forest plantations in Peninsular Malaysia, granted ‘Licensed for Planted’ status in Sarawak or approved for zoning as Industrial Tree Plantation in Sabah,” he said.

Wong added that MTIB only carried out activities in line with the needs and requirements of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (Incorporation) Act 1973.