What is the government's brilliant plan?
To combat illegal logging, the Government will shift the burden of proof to buyers of timber.
An amendment to the National Forestry Act, to be made in the next few months, will see those suspected of carrying out illegal logging having to prove that the commodity was obtained legally.
Failing this, they will be deemed to have acquired the timber illegally.
Fed up of the extremely low success rate in prosecuting illegal loggers, the National Forestry Council has decided to amend the law to shift the burden to loggers to prove that their logs are legally felled.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who chaired the 21st Council meeting today, said:
"The council agreed to review and amend the National Forestry Act 1984 to incorporate the principle that the burden of proof is transferred to the party that is found to be in possession of timber.
"This means those found in possession of timber must furnish proof from where the trees were cut. If they cannot show proof, it means they have committed an offence. If they can produce proof as to the source of the timber it, it means the logs are from a legitimate source."
He said the amendments would incorporate tighter provisions and stiffer penalties on errant loggers, to show the government's firmness and seriousness in dealing with the problem.
Lulu's brilliant idea heeds PM's pledge during the 04 elections to fight corruption. So, Lulu's proposal is not anti-kerajaan, but to membantu kerajaan.
Najib's remarks come after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pledged last month not to indiscriminately approve logging licences, amid mounting concern that clearances are threatening endangered species and tribal communities.
In the same spirit as what is being done with the logs, lets shift the burden of proof to the corrupt! for starters, lets go after those in public service whose lifestlye seems way too extravagant for the salary they are getting. Tun Haniff himself wrote that "40% of the senior officers could be arrested without further investigations – strictly on the basis of their lifestyles".
Sounds good, doesn't it? Tempting...
it goes totally against the spirit of justice, that you are innocent until proven guilty.
The National Forestry Council and the AG Chambers needs to study the current loopholes and come up with better enforcement and prosecution rather than take this lazy way out.