KUCHING: Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan (pix) has confirmed that the police had contacted him after a video went viral showing that he was not wearing a face mask during a visit to the Matu district in Mukah, on March 31.
The Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister said he had removed his face mask at a stall as he was about to try some food and drinks offered by the traders there, adding that at the same time he was in hurry to leave Matu.
“The police contacted me yesterday to inform that I have been compounded. I admit that it was my mistake.
“I forgot (to put on the face mask) as it was already late and we need to leave the place immediately. I was really in a rush. So if a compound notice is issued, I shall pay the fine,” he said in his speech during Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Pusaka) special assembly, here, today.
Meanwhile, Awang Tengah said with the current global economic and geo-political uncertainties and strong competition from other producers such as Indonesia, Vietnam and China, the timber industry is now facing several challenges.
He said at the domestic front, declining production from natural forests and increasing cost of production in the upstream have further impacted the competitiveness of the local timber industry.
“Sarawak’s export of plywood to Japan had also declined from RM2.11 billion in 2019 to RM1.97 billion in 2020. As a result, we lost to Indonesia as the number one plywood supplier to Japan,” he said. — Bernama