KOTA KINABALU, June 23 — A legal framework is being drafted to ensure that timber planted by villagers in Sabah can be used as raw materials for the downstream timber-based industry without impediment.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is also State Trade and Industry Minister, said the proposed legislation, which would be submitted to the state cabinet, was aimed at safeguarding the sustainability of the state’s timber industry while ensuring a sufficient supply of raw materials for making wood-based products.
The state government would hold regular discussions with industry players as well as the relevant associations such as the Sabah Timber Industries Association (STIA), he added in a statement today.
The statement was issued in conjunction with his working visit to KK Assan Sdn Bhd’s wood factory in Kota Marudu yesterday.
Tangau praised the way the factory was operated, noting that it offered job opportunities to locals with 85 per cent of its workers residing in the vicinity.
“The factory also utilises raw materials from easily-planted species such as acacia, rubber and coconut trees that are bought from the villagers,” he said.
Tangau also disclosed that the factory was producing furniture under a memorandum of understanding with investors from China.
KK Assan is also exporting its timber products to Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore. — Bernama