Sabah Forest Industries assets put for sale AGAIN – Grant Thornton steals from Malaysian company to sell to China Investors?

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Sabah Kita has just been notified that Grant Thornton (GT) Malaysia has posted out a tender last month for the sale of all assets of Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) AGAIN, after awarding the tender to a Malaysian company last April, following an open international tender.

This is after one year from April 2018 when the tender was awarded and Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) has been signed between Ballapur Industries and the Malaysian company Pelangi Prestasi (PP). We understand from the ground that the Malaysian company has continued to pay salaries of the SFI employees from January 2018 (even before the S&P was signed as a gesture of sincerity) to Jan 2019, when they were stopped by some parties.

Remember that a USD 30million (over RM120 million) deposit was also paid by the Malaysian company, and they said that they have fulfilled all the conditions under the SPA to complete the purchase and re-start SFI immediately. The key question is WHY has Grant Thornton Malaysia chosen to secretly tender out the assets of SFI again? Did the Malaysian company default on any conditions or could not fulfil any of the original conditions?

We call upon the Chief Minister and the Warisan-led PH government to shed light on this matter. After all, as the tender clearly states – “the Fresh Timber License is subject to the Sabah State approval”. Was this the challenge to complete the purchase – the political interference and potential Chinese money clouding decisions? Sabah Kita demands transparency under Malaysia Baru and the PH Government.

Notice of Re-tender on One of Southeast Asia’s Largest Pulp & Paper Mill with an Integrated Timber Complex located in Sabah, Malaysia on 9 April 2019 in the Financial Times by Grant Thornton

It is also unbelievable that GT chose to put the advertisement out only in the international Financial Times. Are they saying Malaysian companies cannot be part of this process? Why not also put the tender notice in Malaysian newspapers – our companies don’t qualify or cannot afford it now?

So in the end, a Malaysian company rescues SFI after a Singaporean and Indian company were given full access to Sabah’s forest reserves and did not give anything substantial back to the people. Only the Sabah politicians were the main beneficiaries.

Is this why SFI will be stolen from Malaysia again and be sold to greedy Chinese companies? Is this Malaysia Baru? Sabahans and Malaysians are watching closely.

Read the full statement from the Malaysian company here:

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