IPOH, Feb 15 — The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has denied it is involved in a 400-hectare forest farm development project at Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta Forest Reserves.
Its chairman Wong Tack said the approval was given by the Perak state government and not by MTIB nor its subsidiary Forest Plantation Development Sdn Bhd (FFDSB).
“The management of the company (which obtained the concession) has no ties with MTIB and to date, it has yet to contact MTIB on its plans to cooperate on forest farming,” he said.
In a statement here today, Wong said to apply for loans under MTIB, companies or government agencies must follow strict rules.
“The development must be conducted on state or private land and not in forest reserves unless it is alloted for forest farming for Peninsular Malaysia, Licensed for Planted (LPF) in Sarawak and areas zone as Industrial Tree Plantation in Sabah,” he added.
Wong said companies and government agencies which applied for the development also need to fulfil technical requirements such as environment impact assessment, forest management plan, environment management plan, and wildlife management plan.
“The areas for farming must not be in the Central Forest Spine in Peninsular and heart of Borneo in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
“As such, MTIB and FFDSB deny that there is an agreement between MTIB and the company,” he added.
Malay Mail previously reported Mentri Besar Datuk Sri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as saying that the company which had applied for the forest farming development had been screened by the Forestry Department.
Ahmad Faizal said the company would be cooperating with MTIB to develop the 400ha of land, which was identified as secondary forest.
The controversy erupted when DAP’s Kampar MP Thomas Su lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the state government’s decision to award the concession to the then five-month-old company which initially had a paid-up capital of just RM2 that was formed after the 14th general election.
The company now has RM500,000 paid up capital.