Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has earned plaudits from Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) for pledging to save Sarawak’s forests and fight timber corruption.
BMF, well known as a fierce critic of former chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, said Adenan had used his first official overseas visit to reach out to NGOs and call for international support to transform Sarawak’s timber industry.
In a speech at the Malaysian High Commission in London on Monday night, Adenan reiterated his commitment towards sustainability in the timber industry and called on NGOs to assist the state with the necessary reforms.
According to BMF, Adenan told guests at the High Commission that no more timber concessions were being given out and that he would combat illegal logging and timber corruption “until the last log is accounted for”.
“Adenan thus distanced himself surprisingly clearly from the policies of his predecessor, Taib Mahmud, who had abused Sarawak’s natural resources during his 33-year tenure as chief minister,” BMF said in a statement on Tuesday.
BMF said Adenan even welcomed Sarawak Report editor Clare Brown, who was among the guests at the special session.
It added that after his speech, a Penan delegation handed Adenan a letter seeking official endorsement of the proposed Penan Peace Park, a community-led initiative to create a nature reserve in the Ulu Baram area.
Photographs on Facebook show Adenan meeting with BMF director Lukas Straumann and the Penan delegation at the High Commission.
Sabah activist Doris Jones, who is wanted by police for allegedly promoting the secession of Sabah and Sarawak, also posted pictures of herself with the Chief Minister at the event.