July 2019


PETALING JAYA: The judicial review filed by a company linked to
billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary against the Sabah state government
and chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has been fixed for hearing on
Aug 23 in the Kota Kinabalu High Court.

Pelangi Prestasi Sdn Bhd, which is a unit of the Albukhary Group, is
seeking to quash the Sabah state government’s decision to reject the issuance
of fresh timber licences to the company in relation to Pelangi Prestasi’s
proposed acquisition of Sabah Forest Industries (SFI).

Dalam satu majlis buka puasa pada
bulan Mei, Shafie Apdal telah berjanji kepada para pekerja SFI untuk membayar
gaji-gaji dan menjaga kebajikan mereka.

Sekarang nampak seperti semua itu
hanyalah janji-janji kosong kerana sejak hari itu, para pekerja sering
mengalami masalah kewangan kerana pembayaran gaji yang lambat.

Ini bukan sahaja tidak padan
dengan tanggungjawab beliau sebagai Ketua Menteri, malah telah memberikan imej
yang negatif kepada keikhlasan Shafie dalam membantu rakyat Sabah, terutamanya
di Sipitang.

The recent outcome of the judicial review literally
puts the brake on Sabah Government’s intent to unlawfully dispose Sabah Forest
Industries (“SFI””) to a third party, especially when a sale transaction was already
in place with Pelangi Prestasi Sdn Bhd (“PPSB”). These are improprieties by the
Sabah State government that must be checked and appropriately addressed. There
is an obvious lack of corporate governance protocols at the state level.

The Sabah Government’s intention is to oust Pelangi
Prestasi Sdn Bhd from the Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) deal so that it (state leadership)
is able to dictate the appointment of a crony ‘Chinese partner’ to manage and
rape the affairs of SFI. Primarily, this is the main reason the government is
pushing for foreign investments from China.

Despite claims that they would not repeat the mistakes of
the previous government, the Warisan-led Sabah government have done little to
reassure the people that their leadership has been superior. Despite a wealth
of natural resources, Sabah has 50% of the country’s poor and is the second
poorest state – and what has been done about Sabah’s problems this past year?

The constitutional amendment to restore equal status to
Sabah and Sarawak that was sold as a rallying cry for East Malaysians has
resulted in failure. Warisan’s election pledge of returning Labuan to Sabah has
gone out the window with Junz Wong, who originally made the statement, refusing
to comment on it. They preach environmental concern, yet resuscitate the
controversial Papar Dam and TAED projects despite the objections of villagers. Shafie
Apdal promised that he would demand Sabah’s oil royalty be increased from 5% to
20%, that too has come to nothing.

Why would Sabah’s leaders sell-out to China? Likely because a deal with Chinese companies is often accompanied with additional monetary benefits of the illegal kind. The Sabah-China Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) must know this. Yet they are so bent on get China onboard, and the chief minister seems to be playing the same tune.

China is widely known to prey on developing countries
by offering to joint invest and provide financial assistance via cheap loans.
Then, when the country is unable to repay these loans or support its half of
the investment, the Chinese state firm will swoop in and take it for its own.

China is known for investing billions of dollars in
infrastructure and development projects in countries throughout the world, in
particular developing nations. When a country or state shows interest, China
would seize investment opportunities ultimately to gain ownership.

If the Sabah-China Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) or State
Government is oblivious or is naïve about the potential threats, China will
monopolise everything there is to own in Sabah!

It is already happening. Take for instance the
Chinese-owned Lee & Man Paper. The leadership of Sabah must be held
accountable for its intention to sell Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) to
Chinese-owned Lee & Man Paper. Why?

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah-China Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) President Datuk Frankie Liew said he hoped to promote Sabah to not only leaders of relevant China authorities, but also participants from the region at the ongoing 17th Asean Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Conference in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

He said this so that more visitors and investors would come to Sabah looking for opportunities.  More than 600 overseas Chinese business people from 53 countries and regions are attending the event from June 10-15.