• Wartawan Nabalu News

Jeffrey should tell the truth about NCA - Warisan


5 February 2022

By Wartawan Nabalu News


KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan needs to explain the reason for appointing Singapore-based Hoch Standard Pte Ltd as a third party in the highly controversial Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) when the company's credentials are dubious.


Merotai assemblyman, Sarifuddin Hatta, said a simple search on companies in Singapore clearly show that Hoch Standard only has a paid-up capital of US$1000 and has no evident record in carbon trading.


"I was there at the Sitting of the Sabah State Assembly in December and witnessed Jeffrey saying its paid-up capital is US$10 million.


"Jeffrey must explain why he failed to tell the truth in the assembly instead of misleading the House and the people by claiming the company had US$10 million as paid-up capital," said Sarifuddin who was Warisan's Assistant Minister of Finance in a statement today.


According to the Hansard report of 8 December 2021, Jeffrey stated: "... kerajaan telah bersetuju untuk menandatangani perjanjian dengan Hawk [sic] Standard kerana Hawk [sic] Standard mempunyai kebolehan...". (The government has agreed to sign an agreement with Hoch Standard because Hoch Standard has the capability.)


Sarifuddin also questioned the furtive manner in which the NCA suddenly emerged and the lack of transparency on the deal.


He said that Jeffrey, in an act of desperation to ensure the contentious deal went ahead, has finally resorted to mud-slinging without a care for the interest of Sabahans.


As for his allegations that Warisan had organised a seminar on the subject, former chairman of SEDCO, Datuk Dr Richard Gunting clarified that it was merely a brain storming session to explore the economic potentials of nature capital in Sabah.


Sarifuddin said any proposal of such a deal did not even reach the cabinet-level during the Warisan Plus government because then Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal was concerned that it might jeopardise land ownership for the natives.


"Jeffrey's claims that Warisan had been working on the same deal is simply not true. Not every proposal that reaches the Chief Minister's desk gets approved.


"As a minister, he should know that. Unless Jeffrey is trying to be a spin doctor in this case. My advice is for him to just tell the truth," he said.


The controversial NCA is embarrassing for Sabah and has put the state in a bad light even at the international level.


Sarifuddin therefore, urges Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor not to remain silent and to come out once and for all to say whether the NCA has been axed or allowed to go ahead.


"There has been no clear statement so far and I'm wondering if the state cabinet is complicit in the deal," he said.


"Cancelling the agreement is the noble and right thing to do for Sabahans. Not just today but for many generations to come."