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news 1 VOL 16 NO 2 Mar - Apr 2010 ISSN 1394 - 6196 PUBLISHED BY MALAYSIAN TIMBER COUNCIL 1.1 Million Hectares of Malaysian Forests PEFC-Certified Malaysia to Enforce New Wildlife Act in June 2010 Turning Old Buildings “Green” Cover Story A Wooden Abode in The City editorial WoodMart 2010, to be held on 19-20 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, would be a good springboard Kudos to the MTCS team, which for producers of all timbers (temperate, boreal and tropical) to get together and discuss a united way has facilitated the certification of forward. In fact, the American Hardwood Export more than one million hectares of Council (AHEC) is already on board as a partner organization for the MTC Global WoodMart 2010. Malaysian forests thus far. Such alliances could be fertile ground for the birth of a stronger voice for the timber industry, both in this region and globally. (Report on the launch of the MTC Dear Readers, Global WoodMart 2010 is on pages 2-4.) For the past few years, the Malaysian Timber The Malaysian Institute of Architects and the Certification Scheme (MTCS) has diligently worked Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia recently towards international endorsement. Recently, launched the new Green Building Index (GBI) Non- the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Residential Existing Building (NREB) Rating in April Certification Schemes (PEFC), in its endorsement 2010. Coming less than a year since the launch of of the MTCS, has paved the way for the latter to be the GBI New Building Tool for Residential and Non- mutually recognised by 27 other PEFC-endorsed Residential Buildings in May 2009, such a tool is a certification schemes worldwide. Kudos to the MTCS timely solution for the majority of existing buildings in team, which has facilitated the certification of more the country, whose owners might wish to incorporate than one million hectares of Malaysian forests thus ‘green’ or eco-friendly features as part of their far. (Turn to pages 10-11 for our article on PEFC- upgrading works. Besides breathing new life to aging certification of forest areas in Malaysia.) and out-dated buildings, the NREB Rating will ensure that they have better indoor working qualities and Initially promoted by green NGO’s as a requirement are more resource-efficient with low greenhouse gas to ensure sustainability of the forests, timber emission. (For more details on the NREB Rating, turn certification has become a much-discussed topic to pages 20-23). not only in the timber trade but also among policy- makers and the public. When it comes to the crunch, Further on the subject of optimizing resources, Timber however, given a choice between timber certified as Malaysia met a couple with an innate passion for sustainably sourced (which could be more expensive) recycling old things and reusing age-old materials. and uncertified timber (which is cheaper and might And the result? A complete transformation of their not necessarily come from unsustainable sources), modern double-storey house in an urban residential there are no prizes for guessing which the consumer area into a resort-like abode, using old timbers and would choose during the current global economic materials. Through ingenious and creative recycling climate. Shouldn’t the green lobbyists complete of age-old building materials, including windows, their job now by voraciously campaigning for better doors, bricks, beams and roof tiles, the owners prices to be paid for certified timber? But perhaps have successfully recreated the feel of a traditional timber producers themselves are to blame for the Malay house in the city, reminiscent of bygone days current imbalanced debate on building materials. We of village life. As one relaxes on a timber verandah, are much less united than, for example, the steel or listening to the gushing water from a river behind the plastic producers, whose ‘green’ credentials are way house, and birds chirping in the surrounding trees, below timber’s environmentally friendly characteristics. one could almost be forgiven for thinking that this is a Perhaps we should learn from them on how best place in some kampong far, far away from the hustle to organize ourselves in significantly balancing the and bustle of the city. (Check out FOR THE LOVE OF ‘green’ debate. It is, thus, hoped that the MTC Global WOOD section on pages 32-38.) Happy Reading! The Editor. The owners of this house took two years to collect old materials including entrance and room doors, windows, wall panels and furniture to incorporate into their modern double-storey house and transformed it into a resort-like abode, see pages 32-28. contents 2 Giving Wood Its Due Recognition NEWS 41 MIFF 2010 & EFEForum; Timber Lab; QUICK TAKES 2010; Datuk Ismail toAwang Forestry 6 of Plantation Industries and Industry Dialogue with Minister Indiawood 2010; Woodshow 2010; Commodities 44 Uzbuild 2010; MTC Technology Study Mission to China; Domotex Asia / Chinafloor 2010 8 Malaysia’s Biggest Furniture Grouping in The Offing 45 Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest, AT ONE WITH NATURE 10 1.1 Million Hectares of Malaysian Negeri Sembilan Forests PEFC-Certified 12 MIFFID2010 Opens Up New Avenue For Sector 15 FRIM and SIRIM QAS to Enhance Testing and Certification Services 16 Documenting The Flora of Peninsular Malaysia Green-retrofitting or retro-greening, with strategic incentives that the government 18 Malaysia2010 New Wildlife Act has put in place, will drive a new stimulus in Malaysia’s green economy. to Enforce See pages 20-23. in June 20 Turning Old Buildings “Green” Spotlight SHANGHAI 8C Jinming Building 24 Wood Flooring 2010 – Species and FEATURE Sustainability HEAD OFFICE 18th Floor, Menara PGRM No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras No. 8 South Zunyi Road Changning District 200336 Shanghai 56100 Kuala Lumpur P.R. China Malaysia E email@example.com 28 Flooring Offerings from Down Under COMPANY FOCUS E firstname.lastname@example.org T +60 3 9281 1999 F +60 3 9282 8999 T +86 21 6219 7208 F +86 21 6275 4060 DUBAI 32 A Wooden Abode in The City FOR THE LOVE OF WOOD LONDON Suite 104, 1st Floor 24 Old Queen Street Al Moosa Tower II London, SW1H 9HP P.O. Box 62476, Dubai United Kingdom United Arab Emirates E email@example.com E firstname.lastname@example.org 39 915 MeetingConferenceHocParties; GLOBAL COMMUNITY CITES th th of ABS Ad of Open-ended T +44 207 222 8188 F +44 207 222 8884 T +971 4 332 6998 F +971 4 332 6889 to Working Group; 2010 CIF Partnership Timber Malaysia is published six times a year by the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC). It is distributed to over 8,000 individuals and timber related companies, agencies and 40 Forum; 4th UN-REDD Policy Board Meeting organisations in 117 countries. MTC holds the copyright to all its contents, unless otherwise stated. No part of this publication may be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior written permission from MTC. For feedback, subscription, article contribution and/or advertising, please write to: email@example.com news 2 Giving Wood Its Due Recognition Wood is undoubtedly the most environmentally friendly building material on earth. It is renewable as it is constantly growing. Unlike other materials such as plastic, wood can be disposed of, or recycled at the end of its useful life without detriment to the environment. Yet, due to misconceptions, wood gets so much bad publicity compared to other building materials. T raditionally, the global trade in wood products has been highly regionalised, with Europe and North America accounting for around 55 percent and 25 percent respectively, while Asia accounted for some 11 percent. In recent years, the global picture of trade in wood products has changed substantially with the emergence of China, the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe as major producers and traders. Likewise, traditional exporters of primary timber products in Southeast Asia have been changing into exporters of secondary processed products as a result of the development of processing “The MTC Global industries and resource constraints. This globalisation trend makes it important for all producers of wood and wood products, be they WoodMart will provide tropical, temperate or boreal, to unite to prevent further demonising an opportune one-stop of wood as a building material. trading platform for our Such unification can also prevent strong trade lobbies for other timber industry as well as materials from giving wood and wood product producers a run the timber players from for their money. It is usually the ones with the strongest lobby that controls the global trade. A case in point is the steel lobby, which overseas.” is very strong globally. In Europe, the European steel industry body, - Tan Sri Bernard Dompok EUROFER, recently urged EU regulators to prevent unfair competition and excessive pricing of iron ore. news 3 Tan Sri Bernard (centre) and MTC Chairman Tunku Osman Ahmad (left) showing the MTC Global WoodMart 2010 logo during the launch as Mr. Cheah looks on. This brings to mind the question: “How come there’s no unified body to fight for the under-pricing of wood, given its widely acknowledged green credentials?” It is, as such, timely for the international wood and wood product industry to come together and participate in a global wood exhibition, where all timbers of temperate, boreal or tropical species could be promoted under roof. As a means to realise this objective, MTC recently launched its inaugural MTC Global WoodMart 2010. To be held on 19-20 October 2010 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the show is a premier one-stop selling, buying and networking platform for suppliers and buyers of timber products from Malaysia and around the world. Tropical hardwoods, as well as temperate softwoods and hardwoods, will be showcased. The Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, His Hon. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who officially launched the show on 8 March 2010, said: “Despite the global financial crisis, trade in timber products which amounted to US$235.1 billion in 2008 remains a significant contributor to overall world trade. “In 2009, Malaysia exported a total of RM19.4 billion worth of timber products. In the same year, the country’s import of timber products (excluding furniture) amounted to RM1.1 billion. This indicates that Malaysia is not only a major exporter of timber products but is also becoming a significant importer to supplement its domestic timber materials. Thus, the MTC Global WoodMart will provide an opportune one-stop trading platform for our timber industry as well as the timber players from overseas.” MTC CEO, Mr. Cheah Kam Huan, said the event is expected to be held once every two years and MTC hopes to get as many local and international exhibitors and participants to experience the MTC Global WoodMart. “One of MTC’s main objectives is to expand market opportunities for the Malaysian timber industry. As such, it is actively helping industry members to penetrate global markets, both traditional and emerging, through focused marketing and promotional activities. Our mission is to ensure the sustainability of the Malaysian timber industry by improving its competitiveness, enhancing market access and creating trade opportunities,” he added. news 4 This is the first time that such an event has been organised in South East Asia for international timber suppliers and buyers to meet and conduct business. Apart from facilitating business among local and overseas suppliers, agents, distributors, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and others in the supply chain, the MTC Global WoodMart 2010 will also help to promote and encourage the wider application and use of timber from Malaysia as well as international sources. Given the fact that Malaysia is one of the world’s largest producer and exporter of tropical timber and timber products, the convergence of the global timber trade at the Global WoodMart will conspicuously send a strong signal of solidarity in the industry and give wood the recognition it duly deserves! What The MGW 2010 Will Offer A • wide selection of tropical and temperate hardwood and softwood products such as logs, sawntimber, plywood and panel products, wooden flooring, wooden decking, doors and windows, mouldings and furniture components. A • n “Innovative Products” section to showcase new products such as bio-composite boards made of palm trunks, kenaf and rice husk. A • fresh vista of opportunities for Malaysian timber businesses to meet global suppliers and buyers of timber products in Malaysia itself. For more information, please contact the appointed fair organiser: Fairs Connection Sdn. Bhd. Suite 210, 2nd Floor Block A, Kelana Square, 17 Jalan SS 7/26, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. T: +60 3 7803 2276 F: +60 3 7803 3276 E: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or register online: www.globalwoodmart.my Representatives from the Malaysian timber industry and foreign trade chambers based in Malaysia at the launch of MTC Global WoodMart 2010. news 5 news 6 Industry Dialogue with Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities The Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, His Hon. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, had a dialogue with representatives of the Malaysian timber trade and industry on 8 March 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. More than 100 participants from different sectors of the industry attended the dialogue, which was held to coincide with the launch of the MTC Global WoodMart 2010 [scheduled to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, on 19-20 October 2010]. O n the subject of labour, the dialogue highlighted the need for an increase in manpower needs, especially for skilled workers. Tan Sri Bernard acknowledged that adequate skilled manpower is required for the industry to achieve the goals of the National Timber Industry Policy (NATIP), a blueprint for the systematic long-term growth of the timber industry for the period 2009-2020 launched in February last year. According to the Minister, an effort towards addressing this issue is the provision of training. The Ministry, he said, is studying the possibility of launching an institute of technology to formalise and centralise all the courses and training provided by the Ministry’s agencies. The centralised courses endorsed by the Ministry will Tan Sri Bernard responding to a question raised during the dialogue. With him is the Deputy Secretary-General (I) of the provide proper and certified training to equip workers with skills Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datin Paduka which are relevant to the industry. In this regard, he called for Nurmala Abdul Rahim. the industry’s assistance in providing clear indicators of their manpower needs, including their requirement for foreign labour. news 7 The dialogue also highlighted the surging trend in the use of using oil palm trunks in plywood production. The dialogue noted, however, that the UK market is not receptive to oil palm trunk processed plywood. The UK Timber Trade Federation (UK TTF) has labeled palm plywood as a composite instead of a wood-based product and has demanded a substantial price reduction for this product. To ensure that Malaysian manufacturers would not incur losses due to such misconception and bias judgement over oil palm trunks, the Minister said that the Ministry has approved funds for the research and promotion of palm plywood. He urged manufacturers to take advantage of the MTC Global WoodMart to promote palm plywood, which is a sustainable product produced with materials derived from oil palm plantations. The negotiation progress of the Malaysia-European Union (EU) Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was also covered in the dialogue. Tan Sri Bernard stressed that as the FLEGT VPA is an important instrument to show that the country as a whole is observing standards on legality, it is imperative for all states and stakeholders in Malaysia to come together and negotiate as a team. The Minister reiterated that the signing of the VPA would send a strong message to the world, especially consumer countries in Europe, that Malaysia is serious about tackling the illegal trade of timber through a proper bilateral platform. He remained confident that the negotiation process would stay on track and the VPA would be concluded as planned. The dialogue also discussed several other issues including the recent hikes in freight charges and the appreciation of the Malaysian Ringgit against the US dollar, which have been major concerns to local exporters. Other issues called for the rebranding of Malaysian Rubberwood as well as its certification. Rubberwood is a plantation species in Malaysia and is a sustainable and an environment-friendly timber. The rebranding of Rubberwood is important to improve the overall image of Malaysian furniture, which utilises a lot of Rubberwood. The Minister assured the industry that all issues raised would be looked into by the Ministry. Datuk Sheikh Othman Sheikh Abdul Rahman, Executive Chairman of the Malaysian Panel Products Manufacturers’ Association, raising an issue during the dialogue. news 8 Malaysia’s Biggest Furniture Grouping in The Offing Two of Malaysia’s leading furniture groupings, the Malaysian Furniture Industry Council (MFIC) and the Malaysia Furniture Entrepreneur Association (MFEA), are expected to merge by year-end. Mr. Lor Lean Sen. M FEA President, Mr. Lor Lean Sen said the merged entity, which has yet to be named, will result in the creation of the country’s largest furniture grouping, contributing about 80% to 90% of the country’s total furniture production. Talks of a merger between the two national furniture associations started in 2005. According to Mr. Lor, the merger is progressing well and has received the endorsement of the federal government and its agencies like the Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC), the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC). Malaysia: Export of Furniture by Type, 2009 Furniture Type Value (RM million) Wooden furniture • Office furniture 410.9 • Kitchen furniture 530.1 • Bedroom furniture 1,358.0 • Seats with wooden frames 1,491.6 • Other wooden furniture 2,454.0 (A) Sub-Total: Wooden furniture 6,244.6 (B) Sub-Total: Furniture of other materials 1,377.4 Total: All furniture types (A) + (B) 7,622.0 Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia. news 9 Malaysia’s furniture export earnings have leapt by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years or so. MFIC has a direct membership of over 500 furniture manufacturers and exporters, while MFEA has about 2,500 members comprising furniture makers, suppliers and retailers. Under the MTIB Act 1990, the MFIC, being established earlier, is represented on the boards of MTIB and MTC. The overlapping roles of MFIC and MFEA are seen as the reason which has prompted the government to ask the two bodies to merge. “By merging, furniture industry players can stand united to solve problems like labour shortage and secure cheaper exhibition rates at international trade shows, which will boost our country’s exports,” said an industry observer. Malaysia’s furniture export earnings have leapt by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years or so. In 2008, the industry’s exports rose to RM8.72 billion (US$2.7 billion) from RM8.55 billion (US$2.6 billion) in 2007. For this year, the industry’s exports are targeted to hit RM10 billion (US$3.1 billion). Malaysia is now ranked among the top 10 furniture-exporting countries in the world. Shipments to the US make up about 28% of total exports. Malaysia: Export of Furniture to Top Ten Destinations, 2009 Destination Value (RM million) United States of America 2,167.9 Japan 808.3 United Kingdom 584.0 Australia 514.6 Singapore 509.3 Canada 252.1 United Arab Emirates 230.4 India 168.5 Saudi Arabia 137.7 The Netherlands 131.4 Other countries 2,117.8 Total 7,622.0 Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia. news 10 1.1 Million Hectares of Malaysian Forests PEFC-Certified More than one million hectares of Malaysian forests have been certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC). These forest areas, from four Forest Management Units (FMUs), successfully obtained the PEFC certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), which received endorsement from the PEFC in May 2009. T he first two PEFC-certified FMUs in Malaysia are the Segaliud- Lokan Forest Reserve in Sabah and the Negeri Sembilan FMU, which have been awarded the PEFC Certificate for Forest Management (Natural Forest) by the PEFC-notified certification body, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. Both FMUs were accredited the certification against the requirements of the MTCS Malaysian Criteria & Indicators 2002 [MC&I(2002)] in December 2009. The other two FMUs are the Johor and Terengganu FMUs, which were also awarded the PEFC Certificate for Forest Management As an endorsed scheme, MTCC has been (Natural Forest) against the requirements of the MTCS’s MC&I(2002). allocated a logo licence number The PEFC-notified certification body for this award was SGS Malaysia (PEFC / 34-01-01) to use the PEFC logo for any related claims. Sdn. Bhd. These two FMUs became PEFC-certified in April 2010. The PEFC certificates issued to these four FMUs are valid for a three- year period subject to annual surveillance audit to ensure continued compliance of the FMUs with the requirements of the standard. With this certification, logs originating from these four FMUs as well as products manufactured from these logs by PEFC-certified Chain-of- Custody (CoC) companies are eligible to carry the PEFC logo. Backgrounder: PEFC (www.pefc.org) PEFC is a framework for the assessment and endorsement of national forest certification systems that have been developed based on internationally recognised requirements for sustainable forest management. Since its launch in 1999, PEFC has become the largest forest certification umbrella organisation covering national systems from all over the world, currently totaling more than 200 million hectares of certified forests. news 11 Currently, a total of 10 FMUs covering 4.95 million hectares or 37% of the total Permanent Reserved Forest (PRF) in Malaysia have been certified under the MTCS, which is operated by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC). Besides the four PEFC-certified FMUs, the other six FMUs are Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Anap Muput in Sarawak. As for PEFC CoC certificate holders, a total of 34 companies have been certified by the two PEFC-notified certification bodies (CBs) since the beginning of this year. SIRIM QAS International issued 13 certificates while SGS Malaysia issued 21 certificates. In addition, four Malaysian companies that have obtained certification directly under PEFC International previously will now come under the administration of MTCC since the PEFC- notified CBs under the MTCS have started to issue accredited CoC certificates. As of end March 2010, a total of 76 timber companies are holders of the PEFC certificate for CoC under the MTCS. The MTCS is the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia Pacific region, and the second in the world after the Gabonese Certification Scheme, to be endorsed by the PEFC. The endorsement is valid for a five-year period (2009-2014), with periodic review to ensure the continued compliance of the MTCS against the PEFC standard. The PEFC endorsement gives assurance that forests certified under the MTCS are implementing the The PEFC endorsement shows that the various aspects of the best management practices and contributing to the challenging efforts to achieve sustainable forest MTCS, such as the institutional arrangement and certification management, particularly for tropical rainforests. standards used, have met the stringent requirements of the PEFC. It gives assurance that forests certified under the MTCS are implementing the best management practices and contributing to the challenging efforts to achieve sustainable forest management, particularly for tropical rainforests. With the endorsement, the MTCS is able to achieve mutual recognition with 27-other PEFC-endorsed certification schemes. PEFC-Certified FMUs in Malaysia Name of FMU Area Certified (ha) Issuance Date Expiry Date Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve 57, 247 3 December 2009 2 December 2012 Negeri Sembilan FMU 154, 185 29 December 2009 28 December 2012 Johor FMU 397, 392 1 April 2010 31 March 2013 Terengganu FMU 499, 046 1 April 2010 31 March 2013 Backgrounder: MTCC (www.mtcc.com.my) MTCC was established to develop and operate a voluntary national timber certification scheme, now known as the MTCS, in order to provide independent assessments of forest management practices to ensure sustainable forest management in Malaysia as well as to meet the market demand for certified timber products. news 12 MIFF 2010 Opens Up New Avenue for ID Sector The Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2010 returned for its 16th year on 2-6 March 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. Taking place over three venues - the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Putra World Trade Centre and MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Center - the fair attracted furniture buyers from all over the world looking for quality, style and reasonable pricing. Dream House Concept Sdn.Bhd. F or this year’s edition, MIFF incorporated a new exhibition entitled ‘ID Trends’ to reach out to local consumers by offering them an accessible platform where interior designers and contract manufacturers are located in one spot to offer consumers advice and answers to their lifestyle needs. news 13 Maxly Landscape Sdn.Bhd. Shuang Yi Kitchen Sdn. Bhd. Visitors were treated to many exciting activities at ID Trends. The ID Trends Showcase gave them a chance to get a glimpse inside a home displaying new and trendy products from participating exhibitors. Celebrity interior designer Eric Leong presented some handy tips on ways to decorate a home. There was also a string of product demos to introduce new products to the audience. In addition, many visitors made use of the ID Square section to get advice from talented interior designers, and took the opportunity to buy products at discounted prices with the ID Trends Hot Deals promotion. ID Trends, as such, was an event that took a step forward to create awareness that interior design plays a vital role in the making of a desired home. Besides that, it also gave opportunities to expose local exhibitors to the international arena, which helped to create new business prospects for the exhibitors. A case in point was Tropical Home & Lighting Sdn Bhd, whose representative remarked, “We’ve only been selling our products locally, but some international buyers approached us about providing lighting for a new airport project. We’re in the midst of discussing with their subsidiary company which is based here, and if it all works well, we’ll make our way there to take a look at the project.” To encourage better booth presentation, all ID Trends exhibitors were automatically entered into the ID Trends Best Presentation Award competition. Three of the exhibitors were judged as winners for their effort in demonstrating new ideas in the presentation of their products. The winners were Dream House Concept Sdn Bhd, Maxly Landscape Sdn Bhd and Shuang Yi Kitchen Sdn Bhd. MIFF 2010 also launched a new competition, The Ideation Award, which was open to all students undertaking design courses at Malaysian institutions. The introduction of the award came at an appropriate time as the country had recently launched the ‘Malaysia Innovative 2010’ campaign to encourage and raise awareness on the need for greater innovation. news 14 Qube. Ansome Seat. Themed ‘Creativity, Innovation, Technology and Sustainability,’ students were required to design products that complemented the use of technology introduced within the past five years like social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), laptops/netbooks, smart phones, flip video, games consoles (X-Box, Playstation or Nintendo wii) or the iPhone, iPod and iPad. A total of 48 entries from nine local colleges were received for this Award. A Facebook page of 10 shortlisted entries was created, and 638 Facebook friends, all following the design competition, voted for their favourites. The 10 finalists then had to present their design concepts in front of the judges during the final round of judging. Among the 10 finalists, the judges were impressed by ‘Qube’, ‘Echair’, ‘Light & Furious’, ‘O-Tech’, ‘Go!’ and the ‘Ansome Seat’. The latter won the first prize as the judges liked the quick assembly chair that could be transformed into a workstation and then a lounge chair within minutes. The second winning entry went to ‘Qube’, a chair with a backrest which swivels into a table. But it was a tie for the third prize, which went to ‘Go!’, a lounge chair that acts as an exercise bicycle that generates electricity, and ‘O-Tech,’ a video gaming chair which includes a storage unit and fold-out lounge mat. Chief Judge Ian Davies said, “The Ideation Award has demonstrated that we have students with the design skills the furniture industry in Malaysia needs. Let’s use this talent to take the Malaysian furniture industry forward with well- designed, innovative products that have appeal in the global marketplace.” The Ideation Award 2010 met its aims in discovering young talents in furniture design when the panel of local and international judges opined that all of the designs from the 10 finalists were exceptional designs, and that these designers have a great future ahead. news 15 FRIM and SIRIM QAS to Enhance Testing and Certification Services The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has formed a strategic partnership with SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. to enhance testing and certification services related to forestry and forest products. Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif (4th from right) and Madam Khalidah Mustafa (4th from left) at the MOU signing. Photo credit: FRIM. T hrough a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 3 March 2010, the two organisations will share expertise as well as available testing facilities to serve their clients more effectively. FRIM will be the testing body and SIRIM the certification body. FRIM Director-General, Datuk Dr Abd. Latif Mohmood said the MOU was timely as the institute strives to provide the best possible service in the testing and certification of forest industry products as well as the verification of local timber products’ quality for both the local and foreign markets. “This is especially important considering that there are many trade barriers, which require Malaysian timber products to comply with standards set by importing countries. These standards include the Japanese Industrial Standard, Japan Agricultural Standard, CE Mark (Europe) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) Standard,” he added. The signing ceremony was held at the SIRIM headquarters in Shah Alam, Selangor with Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif Mohmod representing FRIM’s governing body, the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board, and Managing Director Madam Khalidah Mustafa for SIRIM QAS International. Industry members who are interested to have their products tested and certified can contact either FRIM (www.frim.org.my) or SIRIM (www.sirim-qas.com.my). news 16 Documenting The Flora of Peninsular Malaysia It has been more than half a century since the last Flora for Peninsular Malaysia (Holttum, 1954, revised 1968, Flora of Malaya 2: Ferns) was published and much has changed in the fern world since then, especially with the advent of molecular techniques. On 30 March 2010, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) launched its latest landmark publication of this nature - Flora of Peninsular Malaysia, Series I: Ferns and Lycophytes, Volume 1. T he publication of the Flora and associated publications was made possible through funds provided by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Through the National Council for Scientific Research and Development, MOSTI provided the financial support to enable the employment and training of young taxonomists, field collection and herbarium visits by both local and overseas collaborators. The project was initiated to document biodiversity by providing reliable and accurate accounts of plant families. This publication, Series I, deals with ferns and lycophytes. Being Datuk Suboh officiating at the launch of the book. locally based, the Flora includes precise ecological information Photo credit: FRIM. and correct scientific naming based on examination of specimen types. The Flora has also incorporated four new features not included in many Floras, namely: • distribution maps (unless the species is widespread and common); • conservation status of the species in Peninsular Malaysia; s • pecimen identification lists online (http://www.chm.frim.gov.my); and • colour photographs. By compiling botanical information for specific groups within one volume, the Flora aims to provide baseline information that is essential for the management and conservation of plant biodiversity that is Peninsular Malaysia’s natural heritage. news 17 This fern volume covers about a sixth of the fern and lycophytes flora, which accounts for nine families, 21 genera and 100 species. Three families have been revised by FRIM staff, five by taxonomists in three local universities and with international collaboration. The next volume, Series II, includes gymnosperms and flowering plants. Officiating the launch of the book at FRIM in Kepong, Chairman of FRIM’s governing body, the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB), Datuk Suboh Mohd Yassin said the documentation of Flora is crucial as it provides decision-makers with information required for the fulfillment of the country’s commitments in line with the National Biological Diversity Policy. He also expressed gratitude to MOSTI for its continued support of the flora projects. Also present were MOSTI’s Evaluation and Monitoring Section Head Mat Yaacob Mohamad, FRIM Director General Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif Mohmod and several MFRDB members. In conjunction with the launch, a seminar on “Flora of Malaysia” was also held, where four of the leading researchers of the Flora of Peninsular Malaysia project shared updates on the project status, findings, challenges and achievements. Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif getting his personal copy authographed by the editors of the book. Photo credit: FRIM. Brief Facts Title : Flora of Peninsular Malaysia - Series I: Ferns and Lycophytes, Volume 1 Editors : BS Parris, R Kiew, RCK Chung, LG Saw and E. Soepadmo Year of publication : 2010 ISBN : 978-967-5221-24-8 Contents : 268 pages Covers (Hard) : 4 pages Price per copy : RM80 (Malaysia) / US$60 (Overseas) To purchase, contact : Forest Research Institute Malaysia 52109 Kepong Selangor Tel: +60 3 6279 7000 Fax: +60 3 6273 1314 Website: http://www.frim.gov.my news 18 Malaysia to Enforce New Wildlife Act in June 2010 Malaysia’s new Act, to control the international trade of species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and to ensure Malaysia’s compliance towards CITES obligations, will be enforced in June 2010. T he Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia said in a statement that the new International Trade in Endangered Datuk Douglas Uggah. Species Act 2008 (INTESA) was gazetted to come into force on 28 December 2009. The Ministry has announced a six-month grace period, which is applicable throughout Malaysia, effective from the date of enforcement of the Act until 28 June 2010. The grace period is aimed at providing smooth transition as well as ample time for the relevant government departments and agencies to enhance their understanding and knowledge on INTESA to ensure full and smooth implementation of the Act after the grace period. The omnivorous slow loris (Nycticebus coucang) is one of many dispersing agents that help in forest species propagation. spotlight 19 During the grace period, the enforcement on import, export and re-export activities of CITES listed species at entry/exit points will be in accordance with CITES rules and regulations, through which CITES permits are required. Non-compliance will be subjected to legal action. Private owners who have in their possession CITES listed species that were attained before the enforcement of INTESA may apply for special “The enforcement of permission letters from the relevant Management Authorities from 17 the Act is one way to February 2010 to 28 June 2010. The issuance of these letters is subject to terms and conditions determined by the Management Authorities. enable ministry officers to come down hard on The Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, His Hon. poachers and smugglers Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, said: “The enforcement of the Act is one way to enable ministry officers to come down hard on poachers and of protected and smugglers of protected and endangered species.” endangered species.” - Datuk Douglas Uggah. On accusations of Malaysia being a hub for illegal export of endangered species, he lamented the publication of such baseless accusations. “As far as we are concerned, we have been proactive in monitoring such activities,” he said. One of the measures to curb illegal export of endangered species is the tightening of procedures in the issuance of permits. “Now, we have set up a committee, chaired by me, to approve all these permits. We will make sure that all things are properly vetted,” he added. Questions related to INTESA may be directed to the Management Authorities as follows: • Department of Wildlife and National Parks Malaysia (www.wildlife.gov.my) • Department of Fisheries Malaysia (www.dof.gov.my) • Department of Agriculture Malaysia (www.doa.gov.my) • Malaysian Timber Industry Board (www.mtib.gov.my) • Sabah Wildlife Department (www.sabah.gov.my/jhl) • Sabah Fisheries Department (www.fishdept.sabah.gov.my) • Sarawak Forestry Department (www.forestry.sarawak.gov.my) The tawny leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), which is found in the forest, plantations and garden, is notorious as a chicken thief. spotlight 20 Turning Old Buildings “Green” Malaysia’s latest Green Building Index (GBI) Rating Tool, for Non-Residential Existing Buildings (NREB), was launched on 26 April 2010 by the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, His Hon. Datuk Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui. The event marked the beginning of another important chapter in the country’s transformation towards sustainable living. T he GBI is Malaysia’s industry-recognised green rating tool for buildings to promote sustainability in the built environment and raise awareness among developers, architects, engineers, planners, designers, contractors and the public about environmental issues and responsibility to future generations. The GBI is developed specifically for the Malaysian tropical climate, environmental and developmental context, culture and social needs and is created to: D • efine green buildings by establishing a common language and standard of measurement; P • romote integrated, whole-building designs that provides a better environment for all; • Recognise and reward environmental leadership; T • ransform the built environment to reduce its negative environmental impact; and E • nsure new buildings remain relevant in the future and existing buildings are refurbished and upgraded to improve the overall quality of building stock. Datuk Sri Peter Chin (centre) launching the GBI NREB. With him are Ar. Boon Che Wee, President of the Malaysian Institute of Architects (left) and Ir. Dr. Abdul Majid Datuk Abdul Kassim, President of the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia. Photo credit: GREENBUILDINGINDEX SDN. BHD. spotlight 21 Formulation of this new rating began as soon as GBI and the two earlier ratings, for Residential New Construction and Non-Residential New Construction, were launched on 21 May 2009. This was in response to the industry’s feedback, and with sustainability compliance becoming a major priority in the property tenancy market now and in the future, the urgency is understandable. This new rating is, as such, a timely and essential guide for owners of existing property to re-condition and “future-proof” the country’s existing stock of buildings to meet 21st century environmental performance standards. The new rating is also meant for these properties to be “future-ready” and remain competitive against newer developments in the long-term. In the process, green-retrofitting or retro-greening, will also regenerate a new life and a fresh appeal for existing buildings. This, together with the widely known productivity, operational and maintenance benefits that come with the new environmental credential, will undoubtedly lead to progressive rental appreciation and increase in asset value. These benefits, in combination with the strategic incentives that the government has already put in place, will see retro-greening driving a new stimulus in Malaysia’s green economy, and a new economic Ken Bangsar - Gold provisional GBI multiplier of the country’s construction and property industry. certification recipient. Most importantly, with existing buildings and their communities continuing to contribute over 40% of green house gases to the environment, the GBI Existing Building Rating will unlock a new and significant capacity in carbon reduction to meet Malaysia’s commitment to the world. In his keynote address, Datuk Sri Peter Chin believed that the GBI would enable developers and building owners to design and construct more sustainable buildings, adding that it is a profession-driven initiative to lead the property industry towards becoming more environment-friendly. “Sustainability and the environment are issues that are very important to the government. The Malaysian government has earmarked Green Technology as a new driver for economic growth of the country. Green Technology offers enormous opportunities and potential in economic regeneration, innovation and wealth creation. It can create a revolutionary impact on our lives and reduce Malaysia’s carbon footprint while enhancing environmental sustainability,” he added. GBI NREB POINTS ALLOCATION TABLE Part Item Maximum Points 1 Energy Efficiency 38 2 Indoor Environmental Quality 21 3 Sustainable Site Planning & Management 10 4 Materials & Resources 9 5 Water Efficiency 12 6 Innovation 10 Total Score 100 spotlight 22 S11 House - PLATINUM provisional GBI certification recipient. With the launch of the new rating tool, environment-conscious as well as business- conscious owners of buildings in Malaysia will now have a “checking tool” to help them work towards upgrading and retro-fitting their buildings. By applying for this GBI certification, they will also enjoy the tax incentives provided by the government to promote the development of “green” buildings, said Datuk Sri Peter Chin. In congratulating the Malaysian Institute of Architects and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia for developing this GBI rating tool within a short time, he said that he was encouraged by the fact that Malaysian architects and engineers are at the forefront of these initiatives to green Malaysia. During the event, the Minister also presented provisional GBI certificates to property owners and developers whose projects have been assessed by accredited GBI certifiers to qualify for GBI Malaysia - Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified ratings based on points achieved. The assessment process involves an assessement at Design Stage leading to the award of a provisional GBI rating certificate. This is followed by a Completion and Verification Assessement (CVA) upon project completion. The final award is given only after the completion of the CVA. Buildings will have to be re-assessed every three years in order to maintain their GBI rating to ensure that the buildings are well-sustained. KRC Sales Gallery - CERTIFIED provisional GBI certification recipient. spotlight 23 GBI CLASSIFICATION Points GBI Rating 86+ Platinum 76 to 85 Gold 66 to 75 Silver 50 to 65 Certified INCENTIVES FOR BUILDINGS OBTAINING GBI CERTIFICATE Tax Exemption A • ny person who incurs qualifying expenditure (QE) to obtain GBI certification for a building used for his business qualifies for tax exemption. This tax incentive provides exemption on the statutory income which is equivalent to 100% of that expenditure. Q • E means an additional expenditure (known as the Green Building Cost Sum) incurred in relation to construction of a building, alteration, renovation, extension or improvement of an existing building. The exemption can be up to 100% of statutory income for each year of assessment. A • ny unutilised QE can be carried forward to subsequent years of assessment until the amount is fully exempted. This tax exemption only applies once for each building certified from 24 October 2009 until 31 December 2014. T • he types of tax incentive mutually exclusive to this tax exemption are addressed in the guidelines issued by Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia). Stamp Duty Exemption T • he stamp duty exemption provides exemption on instruments of transfer of ownership of buildings and residential properties acquired from property developers and awarded GBI certificate. The exemption is on the additional cost of the property incurred to obtain the GBI certificate. The exemption is only given for the first transfer of ownership of the building and for sales and purchase agreements executed from 24 October 2009 until 31 December 2014. Once certified, applicants can claim for the tax exemption or stamp duty exemption in their annual Income Tax return forms. The GBI certificate has to be kept for audit purposes by Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia. For further information on the GBI, please go to: www.greenbuildingindex.org 3 Harmoni - CERTIFIED provisional GBI certification recipient. feature 24 Wood Flooring 2010 – Species and Sustainability By Michael Buckley MPhil, FIWSc. First published in FDM Asia, March 2010. Wood flooring is fashion, specifically hardwood flooring, and until recently had seen a sustained upward consumption trend in Asia’s main export markets of USA and Europe. Now consumption is well down in Europe and depressed in the States. Asian markets meanwhile are consuming more and there is every indication that China’s continuing economic development will sustain its manufacturers. For 2010 and the future, the question is whether the world can produce enough hardwood material to supply the potential growth of flooring which remains enormous. I Mr. Michael Buckley. n the USA real wood flooring is the norm, whereas in Europe wood still only accounts for less than 6% of floor coverings by area, in terms of new installations (consumption). The European Federation of Parquet Flooring (FEP) estimates that its members’ woodbased flooring sales dropped by 7% in 2008 and by 15% in 2009. Does this have anything to do with the sustainability of hardwood raw material? Not really, for several reasons! feature 25 Firstly in both the USA and the EU there is overwhelming evidence that the main flooring species used are highly sustainable temperate hardwoods – particularly oak. This “king” of temperate species grows right across North America, throughout Europe, in much of Russia, northern China, and in Japan and Korea. Oak resources are huge. Secondly many consumers are coming to understand that hardwood forests can, and are, being managed sustainably and that the environmental credentials of real wood are better than those of many of its competitors – especially in flooring. The leading products by consumption in Europe, for example, are still textiles The boom in new (carpets and rugs) and ceramics both of which leave a significant environmental condominiums footprint. High in market share also is (plastic) laminate flooring partly derived from non-renewable hydrocarbons. This is not to be confused with engineered in Hong Kong wood flooring, often referred to as “laminated” (wood) flooring. Much of the and Singapore, textile flooring products used in such markets as UK are synthetic oil derivatives, and increasingly although some are natural fibre. So one might ask what limits the wood flooring market from further development, which its small 6% share indicates could still be in Jakarta, possible. Kuala Lumpur As always cost comparison is important, but in the case of flooring so are and Saigon, all installation and performance in use. These in turn influence consumer attitudes demonstrate the and in this respect the USA leads Europe in the sense that more American consumers see wood as the natural material for flooring. In Asia, aesthetics, importance of cost and performance are also critical. But what binds all these important world wood floors. markets together is undoubtedly the ‘look’ or image of wood. Many consumers are coming to understand that hardwood forests can, and are, being managed sustainably and that the environmental credentials of real wood are better than those of many of its competitors – especially in flooring. The boom in new condominiums in Hong Kong and Singapore, and increasingly in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Saigon, all demonstrate the importance of wood floors - where the majority of “show” apartments, or flats, feature wood floors as an attractive selling point. Do consumers think about sustainability of flooring when making their decisions? Anecdotal evidence suggests that in most markets they are less concerned with sustainability of flooring material than they are of their other purchases. However in the public construction sector, such as sports halls and leisure facilities, most architects, designers and many specifiers are very environmentally concerned on behalf of their clients. feature 26 The world’s forests in USA, Europe and tropical countries offer a huge choice of species that are suitable for flooring. Maple, merbau, wenge, iroko and ipe, as well as walnut, hickory and ash all provide a wealth of colours, grains and patterns for flooring. As in all fashions and trends the question of choice is paramount, for consumers can be fickle and unpredictable, but always demand choice. For hardwood flooring there is no problem here. The world’s forests in USA, Europe and tropical countries offer a huge choice of species that are suitable for flooring. But as I suggested at the recent AHEC industry conference presentation in Athens, there are four main commercial hardwoods of major significance in the world – oak, beech, teak and the mahoganies. All are suitable for flooring from a technical point of view, along with many others. For example, maple, merbau, wenge, iroko and ipe, as well as walnut, hickory and ash all provide a wealth of colours, grains and patterns for flooring. In addition there are very many other lesser-known species from South America, Indochina and Africa. But here there is another angle on sustainability. Manufacturers need to be guaranteed sustainable supplies of raw material in order to invest in technical trialling, tooling, finishing processes and marketing for any new or “limited” available species to make it worthwhile. In this sense sustainability takes on a different meaning. The net result is a tendency for manufacturers only to use those species that are sustainable – as commercial sense. Globally oak is now the dominant species for real wood flooring as it has been for many years. It is estimated to represent about two thirds of the American market, with red oak preferred. According to FEP in Europe “The usage of wood species in 2008 indicates that oak is advancing further to reach 57.6% of the total, tropical wood species are regressing but only slightly compared to last year to 14.7%; ash is losing ground and falling to 7%, whereas beech remains stable at 6.5%.” Teak is highly important, especially in Asian markets. Flooring which allows the use of narrow widths and short pieces enables greater log yield for plantation teak which is an environmentally sound use of any hardwood. The same can be said for beech – a species constantly seeking applications for its lower grades and smaller pieces. feature 27 The reference by FEP to tropical species encompasses a huge number of species ranging from the highly popular merbau, now under resource pressure, to lesser-known South American species found inconsistently in natural forests. What stands out clearly from the FEP data is the fact that excluding tropical species in 2008 oak (red & white), ash and beech – just three species - accounted for 84% of the non-tropical species consumed in Europe. ... in the longer Having looked at the issue of sustainable material, the question of market sustainability for the flooring industry is also worth an analysing. This is a market term, there is no that has seen many changes in technology, huge investment in plant, major reason to believe efforts in marketing and sustained growth in Europe and the USA production, that wood flooring at least until the global downturn. It has also seen potential disruption from significant changes in China after government intervention there as well as cost demand will do increases in oak supplies. Flooring is linked mainly to residential new-build and anything other public projects, with renovation an additional but important sector. The first two have been seriously damaged by the global recession. What is also worrying is than increase. that in these two sectors new projects are down in 2009/10 and so their flooring demand is likely to ease at the later fit-out stage when it comes. In renovation, demand is reported strong but nowhere enough to sustain the manufacturing capacity as currently installed. After visiting the recent Domotex flooring show in Germany, Rupert Oliver of Forest Industries Intelligence in UK said “Overall the impression was of an intensely competitive flooring industry struggling with much reduced consumption and excess capacity at the low and medium end of the market, but with continuing optimism at the higher and more specialist end of the market.” Visiting from Hong Kong, John Chan AHEC Director for China confirmed the importance of oak and walnut and flagged up the emergence of bamboo as a flooring material. So in the near term prospects seem to be not that good for 2010/11, but in the longer term there is no reason to believe that wood flooring demand will do anything other than increase. What species will be in fashion is anyone’s guess but there is little doubt that oak will be up there – simply by virtue of its sustainability as a raw material. Flooring is linked mainly to residential new-build and public projects, with renovation an additional but important sector. company focus 28 Flooring Offerings from Down Under Trueloc began as a family-owned business in 1995 in Melbourne, Australia, initially sourcing for engineered hardwood flooring, from selected manufacturers, for sale in Australia and New Zealand. Having charted early success with selling flooring, made based on conventional technology, Trueloc began pioneering the use of glue-free locking technology in 2001. It became the 1st flooring company in Asia to be licensed to Mr. Nagaraja Jeganathan. manufacture and sell the Valinge Innovation’s patented system, which comes with a lifetime warranty. I n 2005, the company decided to start its own manufacturing in China. This, however, did not go as planned due to many unresolved technical issues. It was then that the company considered Malaysia as a manufacturing base, and began its operations in the state of Selangor, Malaysia in 2008. Timber Malaysia caught up with Mr. Nagaraja Jeganathan, Director and Senior Technical Manager of Trueloc International Sdn Bhd (Trueloc), to find out more about their wooden flooring operations and offerings. TM What is your perception of howpotential growth in the itself to wood flooring market, and the is Trueloc positioning global take advantage of this growth? NJ Wood flooring is already quite popular in markets like the USA, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, however, wood flooring still accounts for only 6% of the floor covering market so there is plenty of growth potential. Asia, compared to the rest of the global markets, has only recently seen wood flooring come into fashion in the last five to six years, and major developers in countries like China, UAE, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam could be credited for popularizing the use of wood flooring in residential properties. company focus 29 Trueloc’s main markets have always been Australia and New Zealand. But with our newly established manufacturing plant in Malaysia, we are currently promoting our products in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. Only recently, we participated in the Dubai Woodshow together with MTC, and it turned out to be a highly fruitful show for us. TM Basedare the main concerns of atoMiddle East buyermarket, what on your recent exposure the Middle East who is considering buying wood flooring? NJ The Middle East is a big market, particularly with the major development projects in not just the UAE, but also countries like Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. Cost, quality and sustainability of supply are still major factors in determining whether the buyers will buy your product. A 300-unit condominium project with a standard specification of wood flooring for the bedrooms and main living areas alone will require a total of at least 50,000m² of flooring. Quality and species are, of course, important but the question of supply is of prime consideration. You cannot have one particular colour of flooring for half the condo block and another colour / species for the other half! As for sustainability in terms of green credentials, I feel that this is more NGO-driven than consumer-driven. Our current world’s agenda often depends on who has the strongest lobby and the best-financed communications programme. Trueloc (Malaysia) currently employs 100 workers and its factory in Banting has an installed capacity of 500,000 m 2 per annum. TM Theredoesnumeroushave in ensuring that it can compete edge are Trueloc flooring manufacturers regionally. What globally in a highly competitive industry, especially in the face of a plethora of low cost flooring producers in Asia? NJ We have developed and produced a state-of-the-art vacuum dryer that can dry difficult and sensitive timbers in a much shorter time compared to a conventional kiln dryer. Timbers can be dried in the vacuum dryer within five days compared to 30 days in a normal kiln. Vacuum drying also results in better stability of the timber as the heat utilized is less than 80 º Celsius. This shortens company focus 30 the overall production time considerably and results in much better quality control due to the improved stability of the timber. Trueloc is also a licensee of the 2G-click patented Välinge Innovation system from Sweden. Valinge Innovation pioneered the concept of glue-free floorings in 1994. The company’s worldwide-patented technology introduced a speedy and easy way of installing floorboards mechanically, without using glue. Since 2006, Trueloc has also obtained the 5G-end locking profile technology licence. The 5G system shortens flooring installation time by 20 – 30%, saving time and, by extension, costs especially in countries where labour costs are high, and the people have generally adopted a Do-It-Yourself culture. Trueloc (Malaysia) currently employs 100 workers and our factory in Banting has an installed capacity of 500,000m² per annum. We are now producing about 200,000m² per annum. Our R&D capability is also our strength. We keep looking into the innovation of new types of flooring to avoid competing in the “standard flooring” market. And as Trueloc has been in the flooring business for 15 years, the reputation and branding that we have built up is also our strong feature. TM Not many businesseswhich began inof2008,effectsyet Trueloc decided economic downturn were spared the and of the global to set up operations in Malaysia in 2008. Since then, what have been your biggest challenges? NJ 60% of our products are made from Rubberwood, and although Rubberwood is plantation wood that can easily be re-grown, some markets have begun to demand certified products. Other species of timbers that we use for the bottom and top layers of flooring are sourced from sustainably grown forests. The option of using certified pine is there but it is not cost-effective. For industries like ours, at the end of the Continuous R&D on processes and automation is also high on Trueloc’s agenda. company focus 31 day, cost-effectiveness is still the number one priority. Customers can say they want certified products, but they need to realize that certification costs money, and ultimately the additional cost will be passed on to them. As far as we know, there has been little or no premium for certified products in most markets, so we sometimes wonder whether the demand for certified products is really consumer-driven or mainly NGO-led. Perhaps MTC could do a study on this. The other challenge we are facing is the shortage of quality labour. Then again, this is a big issue not only for us but for many other industries in Malaysia so let’s not even discuss that. Then there is, of course, the global economic downturn. Consumer confidence in the major markets has not really returned to pre-2008 levels, and this has impacted prices at the wholesale and 60% of Trueloc’s products are made from Rubberwood. Other species of timbers used retail end. But the prices of raw materials have for the bottom and top layers are sourced from sustainably grown forests. not decreased. So we need to ensure that our operations are really cost-effective to cushion the impact on our profit margin. We are constantly on the lookout for alternatives that can result in cost-savings in the long run. Continuous R&D on processes and automation is also high on Trueloc’s agenda. High-Tech Flooring, Made-in-Malaysia Many of us actually enjoy walking barefoot without even realizing it. For many people, walking barefoot epitomises freedom, the lightness of being, and the joy of simplicity. Walking barefoot on the cooling green grass or soft earth is a wonderful exercise for re-connecting with Mother Earth and harmonising the human spirit. But what if you couldn’t have access to the outdoors? Then the next best thing is to have something natural in your home, and the elegant solution lies in wood-based flooring, as Trueloc knows only too well. Trueloc specialises in manufacturing single plank three-layer hardwood flooring. Its range of products consists of TL4000 (90 mm width), TL6000 (136 mm width) and TL8000 (185 mm width). All the series have standard lengths (1,740 or 2,240 mm) and thickness (13 mm), and as this facilitates the production process. Trueloc uses mainly Australian species (Ash, Forest Red, Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Tasmanian Oak, Black Butt), Malaysian Merbau and American White Oak for the top layer of the flooring. Rubberwood is used as the centre core layer whereas Spruce is employed for the bottom layer. All products feature the 2G-click patented Vallinge Innovation system. Since 2006, Trueloc has also obtained the 5G-end locking profile technology licence. The 5G system shortens flooring installation time by 20 – 30%, saving time and, by extension, costs especially in countries where labour costs are high and the Do-It-Yourself culture is the norm. In fact, both the 2G and 5G systems are also user-friendly, enabling owners to install the flooring themselves if they wish to. company focus 32 xxx company focus 33 A Wooden Abode in The City Transforming a new modern contemporary house into a wooden abode takes more than just money and sourcing for wooden materials from old dwellings. TIMBER MALAYSIA finds out from the owners of such a house in Ara Damansara, an urban residential area on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, on what inspired them to transform their new home into a wooden abode that is reminiscent of an idyllic past. global community 34 The guest chalet, which showcases 80-year-old windows and large double doors found in old Chinese manor houses. A four-foot high wooden gate made of age-old recycled Merbau stands out in a neighbourhood where stainless steel and wrought iron front gates have become a common sight. Rust brown-and-white brickwork of the front gate pillars unabashedly evokes images of buildings of nineteenth-century British colonial era. The four-leaf wooden gate opening broods like a portal to days of old, as if holding a thousand memories. And indeed, beyond the rustic symmetry, one is transported back in time to years gone by. Once past the wooden gates, two sturdy pillars stand guard at the entrance to this double-storey corner house. Full-height foldable doors salvaged from a demolition site partially conceal the interiors to the view of passersby. Old materials giving the home a nostalgic feel. for the love of wood 35 Built from a mix of Chengal and Merbau, the main section of the house is quintessentially ‘traditional Malay’ in its design and layout. The timber materials date back to yesteryears, belonging to a period where structures were either old Malay kampong houses, manors of the Straits Settlement Chinese or colonial-styled quarters. And indeed, these were the very structures from which they had been salvaged, and all came together for a renewed collective lease of life in the suburbs of Petaling Jaya. The owners have traversed the country in search of such treasures, buying the structures and, in the process, saving them from pointless decay. “Some of the materials are from old houses in Tanjung Malim in Perak and other northern states of Peninsular Malaysia like Penang and Kedah while others are from the government quarters that used to be on Jalan Cochrane (in Kuala Lumpur),” explained the master of the house. These include the entrance and room doors, windows, wall panels and even the roof tiles. The bricks that now adorn the gate pillars were sourced from old staff quarters of the Malayan Railways in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. “I saw one of these houses about to be demolished, and I asked the workers to stop because I wanted to buy the bricks,” he recalled. While old materials do give the home a nostalgic feel, there are contemporary elements to the house as well. The dining table is a good example. Sitting regally atop a granite base at the patio, the solid tabletop is made of Merbau. Its rough planes and edges make it both bucolic and avant-garde at once. The same can be said about a kitchen sink. It is actually a large rock crater found in the jungle. With a touch of varnish, it is now a conversation piece. Through the use of old pieces of bamboo and timber strips, doors, shelves and storage space adorned with intricate carvings have been skilfully created. for the love of wood 36 A spacious serandah constructed completely with timber hangs above the dining area. for the love of wood 37 For the lady of the house, the dining area is her favourite spot in the house. And it is easy to see why. Veils of sunlight dangle from the gaps in-between the wooden floorboards overhead. The surrounding greenery and the soothing breeze are nothing less than invigorating. The lady reckons that it is the timber that creates the warm, cosy atmosphere in her home. “My friends and relatives have nice houses too, but I think it is just not the same when wood is not part of the interior design. For me, using wood imbues a certain level of artistry, that makes a house feel warm and cosy, like a real home,” she said. The exteriors, too, emulate an old-world charm. In fact, every direction one looks, there is something old that has been reused or given a fresh lease of life. The most fascinating is perhaps the guest chalet. Made of a mixture of Chengal, Merbau and Balau, its structure is raised off the ground, just like old kampong houses built on stilts. An open-air shower is reminiscent of yonder-days’ experience of cleansing oneself by a home-dug well. The guest chalet has a loft for a bedroom. The chalet is also a showcase for 80-year-old windows and large double doors found in old Chinese manor houses, further testifying to the owners’ love for classic treasures. The Merbau windows, doors and panels have been carefully treated to restore them to their former glory, so that old carvings shine again and what was once relegated is now regaled. For the master of the house, much of the inspiration came from his childhood. Growing up, kampong houses and colonial era shophouses were ubiquitous features in his hometown in Kedah. “I wanted the home to have a down-to-earth, laid-back feel and serve as a reminder of days gone by,” he said. Old timbers are also used in various parts of the house such as the staircase and kitchen counter. for the love of wood 38 As such, it does not come as a surprise that he would spend two years to collect the materials required, and another three years to complete the extensions and renovations. “Even so, there is still more work to be done such as adding the finishing touches to the guest chalet,” he said. He credits a friend, a shy Thai craftsman, for most of the carpentry and wood carving work. His friend had refurbished most of the old materials and in some cases, fashioned something new altogether from discarded pieces. The kitchen best illustrates his handiwork where through the use of old pieces of bamboo and timber strips, the skilled artisan created doors, shelves and storage space adorned with intricate carvings. A large rock crater used as a kitchen sink. A spacious verandah constructed completely with timber hangs above the dining area. It overlooks a leafy surrounding, the garden below and a river, the Sungai Ara, at the back of the house. This is where the family spends much quality time in the evenings. And this is where, amid the splendour of Mother Nature, it becomes clear that the house is indeed a sanctuary in the city and a woody haven for the couple and their young children to come home to. Merban is used for this tabletop which sits regally atop a granite base at the patio. global community 39 Cites Convention on Biological Diversity 15th Conference 9th Meeting of ABS of Parties Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group CITES CoP15 will likely be remembered for the debates on bluefin tuna, More than 500 participants attended the meeting. Photo credit: llSD. sharks, corals, polar bears and ivory sales. Photo credit: llSD. The ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on The 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP15) to the Biological Diversity (CBD) was held on 22-28 March 2010, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Santiago de Cali, Colombia. More than 500 participants of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened on 13-25 attended the meeting, representing governments, UN March 2010, in Doha, Qatar. Drawing some 1,500 agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental participants representing more than 170 governments, organisations, indigenous and local community groups, public intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, sector research, academia and business. the meeting considered 68 agenda items and 42 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. The meeting continued negotiations on an international regime on ABS, in view of its mandate to submit an CoP15 adopted resolutions and decisions directed to instrument for consideration at the tenth meeting of the CBD parties, the Secretariat and Convention bodies on a wide Conference of the Parties (COP 10). For the first time in the range of topics including: process, negotiations were conducted on the basis of a draft • Asian big cats, protocol, tabled as a Co-Chairs’ text and developed upon a • rhinoceroses, request made during the Co-Chairs’ Informal Inter-regional • bigleaf mahogany and Consultation held prior to ABS 9. Delegates identified a series • Madagascar plant species. of key issues with respect to the draft protocol text and established four contact groups to address them. Regarding species listings, CoP15 decided to list, among others: Following three days of productive contact group • Kaiser’s spotted newt, discussions and significant progress achieved on a number • five species of tree frogs, of issues, including benefit-sharing from derivatives and an • rosewood, internationally recognised certificate of compliance, an inter- • holywood and regional group was established. Due to procedural wrangling, • several Madagascar plant species. the inter-regional group never managed to enter into text- based negotiations and talks temporarily broke down. The CITES CoP15 will likely be remembered for the debates Working Group eventually agreed to: on bluefin tuna, sharks, corals, polar bears and ivory s • uspend ABS 9 and convene a resumed session in the near sales. However, beyond these highly publicised debates, future; and delegates seemed pleased with the progress on numerous f • orward the draft protocol text, as revised during this implementation and enforcement efforts, including source session, to the resumed session, with the understanding codes, permits and certification, and electronic permitting, that the draft was not negotiated, is without prejudice to the as well as the protection of a number of new plant and rights of parties to make further amendments and additions animal species. to the text, and should be read together with the ABS 9 report reflecting parties’ views expressed at the meeting. Source: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 67, 29 March 2010. ABS 9 is expected to resume in June or July 2010. Source: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Vol. 9 No. 503, 31 March 2010. global community 40 Climate Change UN-ReDD 2010 CIF 4th Policy Board Meeting Partnership Forum ADB, World Bank and Forum officials sharing a light moment before the start Participants include representatives from the Programme’s nine pilot countries of the Forum. Photo credit: llSD. and 13 new member countries. Photo credit: UN-REDD Programme.. The 2010 Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Partnership The fourth meeting of the UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions Forum took place on 18-19 March 2010 at the Asian from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, the Countries) Programme Policy Board was held at the UN Philippines. The Forum was organised by the ADB and Office in Nairobi, Kenya on 18 - 19 March 2010. The meeting the World Bank, in consultation with other multilateral was attended by just over 100 participants from more than development bank (MDB) partners. It brought together 25 countries, including representatives from the Programme’s about 400 participants representing governments, non- nine pilot countries and 13 new member countries, eight of governmental and intergovernmental organisations, which just joined the programme in January (Costa Rica, indigenous peoples and the private sector. Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, and Sudan). The objective of the Forum was to provide an open, transparent and constructive platform for all stakeholders Key items on the agenda included: feedback on country to reflect on the first year of CIF operations, engage in programmes, budget approval for three National Programmes dialogue on knowledge gained to date, and extract useful (Bolivia, DRC and Zambia) and the Global Programme, lessons learned to inform further CIF implementation. presentation of the Programme’s first five-year draft strategy, and discussions around the UN-REDD Programme’s Among the issues highlighted at the forum were: collaboration with other REDD initiatives in 2010. m • ore people are affected by climate change in the During the meeting, the Policy Board approved US$14.7 Asia and Pacific region than anywhere else, while million in funding for national UN-REDD programmes in at the same time, the region’s energy demands and Bolivia (US$4.7 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo greenhouse gas emissions are increasing; (US$5.5 million) and Zambia (US$4.5 million). This brings the • he 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework t total amount of funding for UN-REDD national programmes Convention on Climate Change will have to develop an to-date to US$48.3 million. architecture that enables developing countries to act on The UN-REDD Programme presented an overview of global climate change; and national programme progress since the last Policy Board t • hat the CIF not only help stimulate investment in clean meeting in October 2009, and received valuable feedback technology, but also enhance skills development, on its evolving strategy document. Acknowledging the calls including in rural communities. from member countries for closer collaboration between the UN and World Bank systems, the Policy Board requested Participants also raised issues related to, inter alia: middle- that the UN-REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon income countries being left out of the CIF process; lack Partnership Facility (FCPF) Management Team integrate of emphasis on climate justice within the CIF process; Policy Board meetings and FCPF Participant/Committee clear financing policies that ensure equity in funding flows; Assembly meetings and that moving forward, the UN and and consistent and sustainable investments, rather than the World Bank systems would further coordinate delivery investing in reaction to oil and other commodity prices. mechanisms to REDD countries. Source: Earth Negotiations Bulletin, Vol. 172 No. 2, 22 March 2010 Source: http://www.un-redd.org quick takes 41 Malaysia MIFF 2010 & EFE 2010 M TC participated in the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2010 and Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) 2010, both of which were held in early March 2010. MIFF 2010 was held on 2 - 6 March over three venues, namely the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC), Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur. EFE 2010 was staged on 3 - 7 March at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Selangor. Visitors perusing promotional brochures at the MTC booth at MIFF 2010. Winners of the MIFF Best Presentation Award 2010 with their prizes which were presented by MTC CEO Mr. Cheah Kam Huan (5th from right). MIFF 2010, now in its 16th edition, covered a total exhibition space of over 80,000sqm. It attracted 570 exhibitors from 12 countries and more than 20,000 visitors of whom about 8,000 were international visitors from 140 countries. PWTC and KLCC showcased home furniture, sofa, furniture fittings and upholstery. A new exhibition on ID Trends featuring interior design concepts and home improvement products was held exclusively at MECC. The MTC booth at EFE 2010. MTC has been participating at MIFF since its debut in 1995. Besides being a participant, MTC is also a joint organiser of the MIFF Best Presentation Award. This Award encourages exhibitors to set a high standard in their booth designs and in creating the perfect ambience for their overall display. MTC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Cheah Kam Huan, presented the prizes to the Award winners on 4 March 2009. EFE 2010 was the sixth of its series since its inception in 2005. More than 400 furniture manufacturers and exporters from Malaysia and various parts of the world showcased their innovative designs and launched their latest products at the show. These include wooden and rattan furniture, beds, sofas as well as upholstery and accessories spread over a floor space of 70,000sqm in six halls. Foreign visitors made up about 8,000 of the 35,000 visitors recorded. MTC’s participation in EFE 2010 was its second in the fair series. Both fairs are endorsed by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities as well as its agencies and councils including MTC. quick takes 42 Malaysia Malaysia Datuk Ismail Awang Timber Lab Forestry Forum Mr. Tham responding to a question during the Panel Discussion. One of the Lab group sessions in progress. Photo credit: MTIB. Photo credit: LESTARI. MTC presented a paper entitled “Malaysian Response to MTC participated in ‘TIMBER LAB’, a consultative forum Changing Resources and Market Scenario in Globalized between the timber industry and the Ministry of Plantation World” at the inaugural Datuk Ismail Awang Forestry Forum Industries and Commodities including its agencies and held on 19 April 2010 in Putrajaya, Selangor. The forum councils on issues and challenges faced by the industry. carried the theme “Tropical Timber Trade and Sustainable Forest Management – Bridging Sustainability” and was Held on 29-31 March 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, TIMBER LAB organised by Institute for Environment and Development was divided into three Lab groups, namely, Upstream, (LESTARI) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Malaysia’s Downstream and Bumiputera (Indigenous People’s) National University). Participation. For each Lab group, participants were drawn from respective government agencies and councils, trade Opened to all interested parties including government associations as well as universities. MTC’s representatives agencies, the private sector, non-governmental to TIMBER LAB were CEO Mr. Cheah Kam Huan, Deputy organisations as well as academic and research CEO Mr. Tham Sing Khow and Director for Timber Industries institutions, the annual forum serves as a tribute to the Development Division Dr. Wong Tuck Meng. late Datuk Ismail Awang, a former Director-General of the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia and former CEO The areas of focus in the Lab group discussions included: of MTC. Supported by Datin Harison Ahmad, widow of the F • acilitating greater investments in higher value added late Datuk Ismail Awang, the forum discussed pertinent activities; issues in forestry that affect resource management and the A • doption of automation and new technologies in the downstream timber industries. timber industry; E • nsuring the availability of adequate and appropriate MTC’s paper, presented by Deputy CEO Mr. Tham Sing skilled workers; Khow, highlighted the importance for Malaysia to address C • ompliance of timber materials to specific Malaysian the issue of securing adequate supply of raw materials for Standards; the long-term growth of the timber industry as well as for E • ntering into Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the the industry to be able to meet market demand for legally EU on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade; sourced and sustainably produced timber and timber I • ncreasing and strengthening existing and developing products. The paper also attempted to elucidate Malaysia’s new markets; current status and its response to these issues. E • nhancing business knowledge and skills of Bumiputera entrepreneurs; and Besides MTC’s paper, several other papers were presented E • nsuring greater access to financing and markets for by agencies in the forestry and timber related sectors, Bumiputera entrepreneurs. including those from Sabah and Sarawak. Participants included Forestry undergraduates from the university. One of TIMBER LAB’s key objectives is to obtain input for the country’s fresh policy for the commodity sector. quick takes 43 india Dubai Indiawood 2010 Woodshow 2010 Visitors at the MTC booth. Enquiries being attended to at the MTC booth. MTC participated in Indiawood 2010 held in Bangalore, WOODSHOW 2010, a dedicated wood products and wood India on 4-8 March 2010. Three Malaysian wood- machinery show, attracted participation from more than 150 based manufacturers companies, namely, Segamat companies from 30 countries. The event, in its fifth edition, Panel Board Sdn Bhd, Heveaboard Bhd and Premier was attended by timber merchants, interior designers, Woodprofile Sdn Bhd participated together with MTC. furniture manufacturers, carpenters, architects, engineers, wholesale dealers, retailers, building material manufacturers Indiawood 2010, occupying 14,900 m², featured wood and construction suppliers not only from the UAE but also working machinery, fittings, home accessories as from the member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council as well as a wide range of timber and timber products. well as its neighbouring countries. The event attracted 468 exhibitors and more than 23,000 visitors. Of the total number of exhibitors, 51% MTC organised a Malaysian Pavilion at the show for were local exhibitors while the rest were international members of the Malaysian timber sector to explore business exhibitors from eight countries. opportunities and establish business partnerships with the trading fraternity in the region. The exhibitors at the After the fair, MTC conducted a market visit to Kandla, Malaysian Pavilion, besides MTC, were Winfast Industries Gujarat and Kolkatta, West Bengal, India on 9 - 15 Sdn Bhd, Segamat Panel Boards Sdn Bhd, ME Floor Sdn March 2010. During the visit, MTC met with members Bhd, Ever Prime Timber Industry Products Sdn Bhd and of the Kandla Timber Association, Bengal Timber Trueloc International Sdn Bhd. These five companies are Importers Association and 10 timber-based companies manufacturers of sawntimber, MDF, engineered flooring, in the three cities. decking and high density fiberboard (HDF) laminate flooring. The product profile of the show included timber, plywood and laminates, flooring, woodworking machinery, power tools and equipment, paints, adhesives and glues. Timber-based products displayed were hardwood and softwood timbers, plywood, MDF, chipboard, veneer, and wood-based flooring. The show occupied about 10,000m2 at the Airport Expo and was held on 13 - 15 April 2010. This was the second time that MTC had participated in the show. quick takes 44 Uzbekistan Uzbuild 2010 MTC participated for the first time in Uzbuild 2010 held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 9 - 12 March 2010. Uzbuild is a major international construction fair that brings together leading players from the building industry and trade visitors from Uzbekistan and abroad. The exhibits included building materials, windows, doors, flooring and facades as well as heating and ventilation systems. The exhibition was spread over 5,170m² and hosted 120 exhibitors from 16 countries. International companies including regular and new exhibitors account for slightly more than half of the total number of exhibitors. Among the regular exhibitors were those from Austria, Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Of the some 5,000 visitors to the fair, engineers, technicians and company directors formed the majority. Uzbuild is a smaller fair compared to its sister fair, Kazbuild, held annually MTC’s booth at Uzbuild 2010. in September in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which has over 8,500m² of exhibition space. Although there were not many wood-based exhibitors at Uzbuild 2010, the flooring panels and doors displayed by these companies were among the most prominent at the exhibition. China MTC Technology Study Mission MTC organised a Technology Study Mission to China on 14-20 March 2010. The mission was aimed at providing exposure to Malaysian wood product manufacturers to the latest developments in woodworking and wood processing technologies. The mission itinerary included visits to a flooring manufacturer, timber industry associations, timber wholesale markets and furniture showrooms. Six members from the Malaysian timber industry participated in the mission. The mission was held to coincide with the ZOW Shenzhen 2010 Exhibition, which was held on 19-22 March 2010 at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre. ZOW is a trade fair dedicated to the furniture and interior design industries. Apart from visiting ZOW, MTC also visited the 23rd International Famous Furniture Fair (3F) that was held in Houjie, Dongguan, China. The fair is one of the leading furniture fairs in China, showcasing the Mission members at a flooring factory in Guangzhou. latest products of 70% of the leading furniture manufacturers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. China Domotex Asia / Chinafloor 2010 DOMOTEX Asia / CHINAFLOOR 2010, in its 12th edition, occupied 50,000m2 of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai. Held on 23 - 25 March 2010, the fair showcased a broad range of flooring products and attracted more than 40,000 visitors comprising mainly manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, architects, builders, consultants and contractors. About 970 exhibitors took part in the show this year, the majority of whom were Chinese companies. International exhibitors were mainly from Malaysia, Thailand, USA and Germany. MTC participated in the fair with five Malaysian companies, namely, Ever Prime Timber Industry Products Sdn Bhd, Palm Flooring Sdn Bhd, Kim Teck Lee Timber Flooring Sdn Bhd, Maxwell Wood Sdn Bhd and Kronoloc Industries Sdn Bhd. The products exhibited by the Malaysian companies include timber decking, solid and engineered palm wood flooring, sports The Malaysian pavilion at the fair. flooring system, heat-treated sawntimber and HDF laminated flooring. The floor of the MTC booth was installed with the sports flooring system, a new product of Kim Teck Lee. at one with nature 45 Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest, Negeri Sembilan The Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest was established in 1970. It covers an area of just 2.5ha, which lies at the base of Mount Angsi (825m) in a range of hills to the east of Seremban in the state of Negeri Sembilan. T he Jeram Kak Lang rapids are a 50-minute walk Park entrance. from the park entrance. There are many large trees in the Recreational Forest that is situated Accommodation just off the main road from Seremban. Jungle Chalets and log cabins with very basic facilities are trekking and camping are two of the most popular available for rent in the park. Group camping is possible activities in the upper reaches of the forest. The trail to within the park in designated areas near the park the summit of Mount Angsi and back takes about six headquarters. hours (4.5km each way). Seremban and the seaside resort town of Port Dickson are visible from the summit. Seasons The trial passes through lowland dipterocarp forest, Access to the park is not affected by seasonal weather and long tailed macaques can often be seen in the variations. trees of this forest. Further Information Location For more information and accommodation booking, The forest is 20km east of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan please contact the Forestry Department in Kuala Pilah, on the road to Kuala Pilah (south of Kuala Lumpur). Negeri Sembilan. Tel: +60 6 4811036. Access Visitors will have to pass through Seremban, which lies just off the North-South Expressway. There are several exits from this highway but the Senawang exit is the quickest and one with least traffic. From this exit, head towards Kuala Pilah using the new Lekas Highway which joins up the Bukit Putus Highway (road signage is aplenty and well positioned). Visitors using public transport can start their journey from the Seremban Bus Station. Buses and taxis from Kuala Lumpur’s Pudu Raya Bus Station travel regularly to Seremban. The park is popular for picnics and camping. news 46
"A Wooden Abode in The City"