KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 – The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tuan Haji Zainal Abidin bin Haji Abdullah as its new Chairman, effective 11 April 2023. A seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in forestry, Tuan Haji Zainal, 54, brings extensive knowledge in strategic planning for the development of the sector in line with national policies.Having started his career as a Forest Officer in 1992 at the Sarawak Forest Department.

Tuan Haji Zainal was seconded to the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd (SFC) as its Area Manager in 2003. He held several positions at SFC including Security & Asset Protection Manager, Revenue Manager, and Regional Manager before becoming its Deputy General Manager in June 2018. During his tenure in SFC, Tuan Haji Zainal provided leadership in formulating strategies related to enforcement, ensuring compliance with forest ordinances and national park regulations.

He was also instrumental in assessing, collecting, and enforcing payment of royalties, fees, and other levies chargeable under these ordinances. He also possesses a wealth of knowledge in sustainable forest management, forestry development, reforestation, rehabilitation, and on forest produce, i.e., upstream, and downstream industries. Tuan Haji Zainal is currently the General Manager of Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd. Since his appointment in February 2019.

Tuan Haji Zainal has been playing a key role in drafting the strategic masterplan for Harwood as well as preparing and implementing Harwood’s performance metrics through the Balance Score Card (BSC) in line with the Sarawak State government’s standard practices. He was also involved in drafting the Forestry and Timber Industry Masterplan for Sarawak in 2019. I feel very privileged to take on this role at a challenging time for the Malaysian timber industry, especially on raw material availability and market accessibility.

Including facing regulatory pressures from the European Union’s Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), among others said Tuan Haji Zainal. I am looking forward to working with MTC’s management in addressing these issues in a thoughtful and innovative way that will benefit our stakeholders for years to come, while also prioritising Environmental, Social and Governance principles in the timber industry,” he added. Tuan Haji Zainal, who holds a Master’s in Corporate Business Administration, also has a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from University Putra Malaysia.

We are thrilled that Tuan Haji Zainal has joined MTC to support us in achieving our objectives. His excellent leadership abilities would be invaluable in advancing our mission as well as enabling us to better serve our stakeholders said MTC CEO Madam Noraihan Abdul Rahman.

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