PRESS STATEMENT, 14 May 2015, KUALA LUMPUR –Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) applauds the success of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s “Ops Gergaji” operations that were carried out simultaneously at 48 locations in Sarawak for suspected illegal logging and corruption practices. As reported, the MACC seized 700 logs worth RM 600,000 from log ponds, sawmills and business premises and froze more than 300 bank accounts belonging to companies and individuals accounted for RM560 million.
TI-M fully supports Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s declared efforts to combat illegal logging and timber corruption to protect Sarawak’s remaining forest cover. In a speech in London last week, CM Adenan said to stop issuing timber concessions in order to stop illegal logging activities.
Logs are large and need infrastructure and heavy machinery to cut, transport and sell. Illegal logging can only survive with the connivance of many people involved in this industry. Corruption is a leading driver of illegal logging. It facilitates illegal forest activities. A well governed forestry sector plays a strong role in preventing and minimising opportunities for corruption.
TI-M calls for more combined raids by the MACC and other government enforcement bodies against corruption in the timber sector and curb illegal logging activities in Malaysia. TI-M is willing to work closely together with MACC to ensure best practices towards Sustainable Forest Management and to stop illegal logging in Malaysia’s forests and reduce the loss of revenue that may have been generated from legal logging of forests.
Dato’ Akhbar Satar
Transparency International Malaysia
Transparency International-Malaysia is an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organisation committed to the fight against corruption.