Tawau: The Tawau Barter Trade Association (BATS) urged the State Government to consider their request to reduce the processing fees of imported timber.
Newly elected President Frankie Seng Huah Hua claimed that the Primary Industries Ministry had initially agreed to lower the current fees of RM40 cubic metres imposed by the Sabah Forestry Department to as low as RM10 during a meeting last August.
The association made the initial request to the Chief Minister's Department in June 1999, followed by a formal application to the Ministry concerned the next day, he said.
"To date, the association has yet to receive a positive response from both the Ministry and the State government," he added.
Seng pointed out that it was necessary to lower the processing fees of imported timber to ensure sufficient supply of raw materials to the domestic market, coupled with price decline of wood-based products in the international market.
According to him, BATS had a total membership of some 40 companies involved in the import of timber, rattan and sundry items for the local market.
Apart from Seng, others elected to the committee during Sunday's annual general meeting were Mohd Aziz Ali (deputy president), Samsuddin Imjut, Wong Wai Hong (vice-presidents), Omar Bachora (secretary) and Wong That Sim (treasurer).
The committee members are Cha Si Hiong, Damat Taboyo, Abu Bakar Jambuan, Osman Hassan, Asmat Nursin, Landasan Tumabil and Jakirun amir Hasin.