Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malay forest pillager buys timber back from state

Malay forest pillager buys timber back from state

Malay forest pillager buys timber back from state

AN interministerial committee has recommended that the Government sell 646 illegally

cut logs to the Malaysian logging company GAT International - the same logs confiscated

from the company's Koh Kong concession last year.

On July 28 a nine-member committee voted to accept GAT's bid to buy logs at the basic

Government royalty rate of $54 per cubic meter.

The Government permitted GAT's participation in the auction despite a call from the

environmental monitoring NGO Global Witness to ban GAT from the sale.

The Government's first attempt to auction the logs, on July 19, ended when no concessionaires

bid.

Two days later the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries received a letter

from GAT expressing an interest and making a 10 per cent down payment ($22,833) for

the logs - 4,228 cubic meters of Number Two quality.

In June Global Witness recommended the Government cancel GAT's concession after it

discovered repeated breaches of contract, including the illegal logging of a neighboring

concession.

"At the very least, GAT should not be allowed to bid for them when they come

up for public auction," said GW's Patrick Alley at the time.

But the auction went ahead on July 28 and GAT was the only concessionaire to place

a bid.

Though the Government received only one bid, it was time to make a deal, said Committee

member Sy Define, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Department of the Council of

Ministers.

"We already postponed the auction and we do not expect more customers to apply.

If we continue to delay, the logs will spoil and the price will only drop,"

she said.

The only dissenting voice on the committee was Vann Samnang, Deputy Director of the

State Property Department of the Ministry of Finance. He recommended they ask GAT

for $57.3 per cubic meter.

At press time a decision to finalize the sale had still not been made.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,