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Jeffrey misleading public about “transparency” on carbon trading deal – Adrian Lasimbang

21 February 2022

By Wartawan Nabalu News

PENAMPANG: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan is misleading the public on his recent assurance that the carbon trading deal in Sabah would be “completely transparent”, says former senator cum Orang Asal Rights campaigner, Adrian Lasimbang.

Adrian believes that Jeffrey is missing the point about the role of being “transparent” in the carbon trading deal when he failed to spell out everything that’s involved in the deal.

Recently, Jeffrey said the deal would be put on a blockchain and that it would be available to global scrutiny.

“I believe Jeffrey is misleading the public once again by saying these things. These are technologies that have been utilised in a variety of other transactions to increase transparency,”

“Before every deal or operation, the process must be transparent in international treaties. Now that you’ve signed and want to get started, then only you want to talk about transparency. I believe that is a very flawed concept,” said Adrian, adding that this is why they are opposing the deal as he will devalue carbon credit in Sabah since the international norms are not being conformed to.

“At the end of the day, everything comes down to transparency and good governance,” he said after a Special Briefing Programme on the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) at the Pacos Training Center, here, today.

On the status of his lawsuit against the carbon deal that was filed on Nov 29 last year, Adrian said the case has been postponed from its initial mention date on Feb 14 to early March owing to an unforeseen difficulty.

“Once this court case is mentioned, we’ll need to gather additional information before deciding what to do next. A lot of this legality on the deal is being advised by my legal team,” he said.

"Before this, we didn't know what the actual content of the agreement was," he said, "but since we filed the case, it has at least shed more light on what is truly in the deal.”

“There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I believe the best place to do it is at the State Assembly Legislative sitting, where the law should be reviewed.

“If there is nothing wrong with the NCA the proponents of the agreement should make it transparent, make it public domain, and not hide something that forces the people, particularly our native community, to remain in the dark and have undue anxiety,” he said.

"I do acknowledge that when it comes to this business plan, all of the financial aspects, it's actually too early to debate about it at this point, but unfortunately, most of the people arguing the NCA are focusing on why venture capital is necessary, all of that which is actually secondary.

"There is no point debating the business and the role of Hoch Standard in attracting money without first addressing the core fundamentals, rights, and transparency issues since it's like building a home without first laying the foundation.

"I believe this is a fundamental issue, and the State Government must be accountable and transparent throughout the process," he said.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations, the business community, and political parties interested in the NCA's policy implications attended the briefing.

Adrian noted that the majority of those in attendance are not completely opposed to carbon trading but are concerned about how the agreement or deal was struck in complete secrecy and without transparency.

"Many of those problems might have been resolved if sufficient due diligence and consultation had been conducted by both the State Government and those supporting Hoch Standard.

"There are still a lot of unanswered questions, particularly regarding the company. It's just hearsay at the moment since we haven't seen the document that is supposed to be given to the government and Cabinet,” he said.


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