Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said critics of the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) should stop talking and make things happen for the benefit of the State.
“These are those who do not understand. These people are slowing us down, while others are already far ahead,” he said when asked about the numerous opinions made about the NCA.
“It is unfortunate, but we want them to understand that we’re missing out on an opportunity to increase our revenue because other sources of revenue can only go so far.”
He said this when met at the 17th Global Congress and Conferment Ceremony held at the Sabah International Convention Centre, here, Saturday.
Sarawak Report is used to being told to ‘shut up’ and accused of ‘not understanding’ by people who will do anything to avoid answering pertinent questions.
However, the media has a duty to ask about matters that are in the public interest and, as a politician, Kitingan has a duty to answer those questions, instead of seeking to silence valid concerns.
Sarawak Report has five main questions we want answered which reflect widespread concerns of NGOs:
1. Where are the detailed research documents commissioned by the state government to justify his claim that $800 million can be gained per year from his NCA and what are the specific areas this NCA will cover?
2. What process was undertaken to select and appoint the Singapore shell company Hoch Standard Pty Ltd to be the ‘management’ entity controlling the project, given the matter was never even put before the state assembly? Hoch Standard just happens to be represented by one Stan Lassa Golokin, a businessman who was caught up (together with Kitingan himself) in some extremely troubling prosecutions over the earlier disappearance of an alleged billion dollars from similar eco-projects in the 1980s, according to a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur that has not been denied.
3. Given Hoch Standard is due to be accorded a staggering 30% of all the profits of this enormous public venture why does the state government not instead simply hire the required experts to form a department to manage the project and save the taxpayer a fortune?
4. Being there is sooooo much cash that is going to be filtered out of the project to the company fronted by the dubious Mr Golokin, who is the actual shareholder of Lionsgate, the BVI entity that is registered as the beneficial owner of Hoch Standard? Indeed, how can it be possible that the Sabah state government could have signed up to a ‘binding agreement’ involving so much money with an anonymous entity?
5. On what possible justification has this binding agreement included a ‘cancellation clause’ that would allow Hoch Standard to claim its entire share of the projected profits (which have been condemned as being outlandishly optimistic) whether or not the project comes to fruition?
We ask these questions because far from needing to rush into the NCA in order not to miss out on opportunities to make billions for the people of Sabah, the terms of the agreement as presently drafted and signed up to by Kitingan and his boss, would allow the anonymously owned Hoch Standard to make a complete hash of the entire process but nonetheless claim 30% of the unfounded profit projection.
Quite the opposite of making Sabah money, this would amount to yet another appalling raid on the taxpayer for the benefit of an anonymous person whom Mr Kitingan seems to be keen to enrich.