Thousands to lose job if Chong breaks up six biggest timber licences, says Adenan

08 Apr 2016 / 21:41 H.

SIBU: Up to 500,000 people will lose their jobs if Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen has it his way to break up the timber licences of the six biggest companies in the state.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said, small companies which are to be awarded the licence as suggested by Chong, would not be able to come up with big capital to invest in setting factories that could give added value to timber products.
"With small areas to operate on and a concession period of five years, they are unable to invest in factories that give jobs to the people and will only be able to fell the trees and sell the logs.
"Not only the big six companies would be affected but also the companies that are depending on them for supplies," he said when speaking at the KTS Group of Companies staff gathering here today.
He said that was what the opposition was going to do if they won the coming 11th state election.
Earlier last month Chong had called for an immediate review and termination of substantial portion of the timber licences granted to the six biggest companies in the state.
The opposition wanted Adenan to break up the licences into smaller areas and gradually award concessions through open tender for the purpose of downstream timber industry activities.
Chong had said the big six, comprising Ta Ann Group of Companies; RH Group of Companies; Shin Yang Group of Companies; Samling Group of Companies; KTS Group of Companies; and WTK Group of Companies had been monopolising the state's timber industry with concessions in total covering a third of Sarawak.
He said, the main enemy of Sarawak's timber industry was not illegal logging but the monopoly of the logging industry by these six companies.
"It is unfortunate that Chong had said this, which could cause many people to be out of jobs," said Adenan. — Bernama

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