Joinland’s Central New Hanover Agro-Forestry Project Contributes To Community Growth On Isolated Island
MALAYSIA – 28 December 2020 – The Joinland Group, a diversified Malaysian conglomerate of varied business interests, has constructed three church buildings, three Pastor’s houses, three primary school double classroom buildings, three elementary school buildings, three aid posts and a community health worker’s house on the isolated and underdeveloped New Hanover island in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
These buildings are part of Joinland’s ongoing contributions to the economic and social development of Central New Hanover, which results from the company’s licensed and regulated agro-forestry project on the island.
The New Hanover Project is a collaboration between Joinland with a local developer, Tutuman Development Ltd. In January 2012, Joinland and Tutuman joined hands to initiate the project to plant rubber trees under the Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) arrangement.
SABLs are granted by PNG’s Department of Lands and Physical Planning to facilitate the development of long-term commercial agricultural industries through the lease of customary land. Under this arrangement, the customary landowners shall benefit from rental payments, job creation opportunities and improved facilities, among others.
Joinland has made other investments in the infrastructure of the island, which have benefited the local community. This has included the construction of over 800 km of basic roadway. This new roadway, through formerly inaccessible areas, has greatly expanded the social mobility of New Hanover villagers, reduced their living costs and improved quality of life.
Since Joinland began operations on New Hanover it has also built several clinics and recruited two doctors and four nurses. These healthcare professionals primarily provide care to the 200 employees working for Joinland (approximately 70% of whom are locals who earn incomes at or above PNG statutory minimum wage), but they also provide healthcare and medicines to local residents who require it — free of charge.
Mr Pedi Anis, the Chairman of Tutuman Development, Joinland’s partner on the New Hanover project, comments, “Being a New Hanover native and an advocate of land development, I am very pleased to be working with our Malaysian partner, Joinland, on this endeavour that can stimulate growth and bring prosperity to the people of New Hanover. Without initial and continuing financial support from investors, no real change is ever going to be realised and achieved on customary land.”
Commenting on the project Dato’ Sri Thomas Hah Tiing Siu, the founder of Joinland, said, “We are delighted that through this project we are having a real and positive impact on the lives of New Hanover residents today. While many of the economic benefits from the almost four million rubber, cocoa, coconut and native calophyllum trees (which we have already planted) will only be enjoyed by residents in the future (when these trees reach maturity), our investments in new schools, churches, homes and road building are already benefiting communities who were economically and socially isolated. We are determined to maintain and even enhance our efforts in partnership with the Papua New Guinea government, New Hanover stakeholders and residents moving forward. We remain committed to sustainably developing the island and improving the lives of everyone on it, both now and in the future.”
Since the project began in 2012, Joinland has planted over 2.5 million rubber trees, 560,000 cocoa trees, 54,000 coconut trees and 800,000 native calophyllum trees. Currently, Joinland is planting 15 essential native trees for every single tree cleared as part of its forestry activities.
Joinland has also constructed a total of 73 permanent houses for local villagers, with another 45 houses under construction. All houses built are supplied with water tanks by Joinland. So far, a total of 1,814 water tanks, with a capacity equivalent to 9.07 million litres of water, have been provided by Joinland – ensuring reliable clean water for the people of New Hanover.
About Joinland Group
The Joinland Group is a diversified Malaysian conglomerate including property, plantation, forestry and agricultural management, insurance and shipping businesses, to name a few. The company operates businesses and investments in many markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Papua New Guinea, China and New Zealand, among others.
The company was founded by Dato’ Sri Thomas Hah Tiing Siu, a self-made entrepreneur who started out in the cold storage business. In 2013 he was awarded the honorary title of Dato’ Sri by the Sultan of Pahang (Malaysia) in recognition of his management skills and business acumen in building the Joinland Group.