Sun, 19 May 2024


Thumbs-up for Sabah’s CLT
Published on: Sunday, March 15, 2020
By: David Thien
Text Size:

Thumbs-up for Sabah’s CLT
Foreign journalists and buyers being briefed by Norman on Sabah’s CLT in Keningau.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah’s effort to produce engineered wood products like Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) has earned praise from foreign buyers and journalists.Timber Association of Sabah (TAS) President Norman Wong, one of the pioneers in the effort, hosted the Malaysian Timber Council delegation’s visit to the State at his Sapulut Forest Management Unit camp, with a call to accept wood as the future building material. This is welcomed pending his endeavour on more research and development efforts to produce CLT structural components.

This is part of the global movement to convince authorities and consumers that mass timber construction is a safe and sustainable alternative to steel, brick and mortar with good fire-resistance rating.

Sapulut’s 52,552 hectares of natural forests are managed according to a 25-year rotation cycle. Its industrial tree planting area (ITP) covers 21,970 hectares with fast growing Albizia and white/red Laran managed under a 10-12 year rotation cycle. Besides rubber trees, Eucalyptus Pelita is another possible species to be planted extensively.

“We need to have an ITP policy. We have an FMU policy but we do not have an ITP policy by the Government that focuses on plantation timber chain as the way forward for the future,” said Wong.

The State Government forest policy is looking to have a significant forest land area under protection for biodiversity, habitat for wildlife and watershed protection, etc.

The Natural Forest Concession areas have been reduced over the past 10 years with the reclassification of approximately 900,000 hectares from 2,550,000 hectares in 2010 to 1,659,900 hectares in 2017.

Areas of Class II commercial forests re-gazetted to Class I protected forests will no longer be available to the industry.

Meanwhile, MTC has appointed Wong Kah Cane as its acting Chief Executive Officer, effective March 13. Wong, who joined MTC on Nov 1, 2019 as Deputy CEO, takes over from Richard Yu Tuan Chong upon the expiry of the latter’s contract.

Wong, 52, who graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia in 1992, started his career in transforming SMEs into successful enterprises by bringing in experts for training programmes which centred on strategic management, quality control, sales and marketing.

In 2018, he joined Vistage Malaysia as its Business Coach providing training for CEOs. In August the same year, Wong was appointed an Independent Member of MTC’s Board of Trustees.

MTC has also appointed Roger Chin Chew Choy as its new Chief Operations Officer, effective March 1. Prior to joining MTC, Chin was attached to Advance Information Marketing Berhad where he served as its Executive Director since January 2018.

A Bachelor of Law graduate from the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, Chin, 54, brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector with international banks specialising in consumer, corporate and Islamic banking.

His career in the banking industry started in 1993 with Standard Chartered Bank in 1993 where he was seconded to its regional team in Singapore serving in various Asian countries, including Indonesia, Philippines, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He had also held senior management positions in Citibank, GE Capital, Hong Leong Bank and Kuwait Finance House.

“The appointment of Wong and Chin is to further strengthen the management team of MTC,” said Chairman Dato’ Low Kian Chuan. He added that with their combined fields of expertise, Wong and Chin will be great assets to the timber industry and MTC, a council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.   The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) was established in January 1992 to promote the development and growth of the Malaysian timber industry globally. Its main objectives are to promote the Malaysian timber trade and develop the market for timber products globally, to promote the development of the industry by upgrading the industry’s manufacturing technology base, to augment the supply of raw materials, to provide information services and to protect and improve the Malaysian timber industry’s global image.


Top Stories Today

Sabah Top Stories

Follow Us  

Follow us on             

Daily Express TV  

Try 1 month for RM 18.00
Already a subscriber? Login here

Try 1 month for RM 18.00

Already a subscriber? Login here