KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Timber Industries Association (STIA) in welcoming the formation of the Task Force in formulating the new state timber policy believes the association can play a crucial role in this exercise.
STIA newly-elected president, Chua Yeong Perng said the association looked forward to participating actively by working closely with the task force to ensure the formulated policies would be beneficial the industry as a whole.
“Its open and consultative manner is very refreshing and timely for the timber industry players especially from the ground up, industry feedback by active players,” he said.
“We look forward to engage in continuous dialogue with the Government that will provide us the opportunity to voice out what is relevant, timely and important issues vexing our members and (impeding) development of the timber industry,” he said in his welcoming speech at the installation ceremony of STIA office bearers for 2018/2020 term at Promenade Hotel here, today.
The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Industry and Trade, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Chua said STIA also wished for regular dialogues on an official platform that should be headed by Tangau’s ministry together with other crucial agencies like Forestry Department, Land and Surveys Department, Natural Resources Department, Environment Department, Customs among others to facilitate timely resolution of evolving issues faced by the industry.
According to him, since its inception 35 years ago, STIA had gone through many ups and downs over the years as shown by its membership graph history, which peaked in 1996 with 475 members and dropping to the present 234.
Over this period, Chua said the issues of inadequate supply of raw materials, work force, fluctuations of the timber product markets, new international regulatory and technical requirements, needs for certifications, high cost of productions, were among the many challenges faced by STIA’s members.
Towards this end, he said the association hoped with the strong support from the members and the Government, they can overcome the uncertainties.
“We are confident we can adapt and go forward aligning our activities to the goals of the State government’s in developing Sabah,” he said.
Chua said STIA also pledged to continue working closely with the State government in realising its aspirations of more value-added products and provide more employments that would bring the timber industry to a higher level.
The STIA Central Committee 2018-2020 are Chua Yeong Perng (president), Tan Peng Juan (deputy president), Joseph Fong Hen Vun (vice president), Alfred Yong Chin Keong (secretary-general), Fong Ming San (assistant secretary-general), Sia Mee Kuong (treasurer-general) and Wong See Ming (assistant treasurer-general).
The committee members are Wilson Tan, Ong Huang Peng, Raymond Chiew, Fonny Tsen, Linda Loh, Nancy Chia, Tang Kie Chiew, Wong Thart Sin, Quek Siew Wah, Tommy Low and Stephen Chaw.
Datuk James Hwong is the senior advisor.-SabahNewsToday