Diversified revenues allow Sarawak to be less dependent on timber — Abang Johari
23 Dec 2020
The Sarawak government’s success in diversifying its stream of revenues has enabled the state economy to be less dependent on timber as a major source of income, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.
He said the last state budget showed that timber’s position as one of Sarawak’s major revenue had dropped by chalking about RM300 million, which was even far behind royalty payments for water which was about RM600 million.
“Now we have a new diversified stream of revenues. We are not relying on timber only. We can slow down the contribution of the timber industry to our economy, but at the same time, we must restore our forests by planting trees,” he told reporters after officiating a tree planting ceremony here today.
Abang Johari said the state government had worked out a new policy and prepared a RM60 million fund for the Forests Department Sarawak to carry out a forest replanting exercise.
“We also allow local people to plant trees and the seedlings can be obtained from the Forests (FDS) nurseries. The local people can also be involved in the (forest) replanting exercise,” he said.
Abang Johari, who is also State Finance and Economic Planning Minister, said the rate of illegal logging activities in Sarawak had tremendously dropped following the adoption of new data gathering technology and drone aerial surveillance.
“Now we use technology to detect (illegal logging) and because of the technology you (illegal loggers) cannot avoid that (from being detected),” he added.