Hydro-Tasmania’s Roy Adair Provokes Ridicule!

Hydro-Tasmania’s Roy Adair Provokes Ridicule!

23 Aug 2012

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Roy Adair, Chief Exec of Hydro-Tasmania and also Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Hydro, a subsidiary of Industry Funds Management

Hydro-Tasmania hit the airwaves in Australia yesterday, in order to defend their involvement with Taib Mahmud’s schemes to flood Sarawak and destroy its major rivers with twelve new unwanted dams.

Roy Adair, the Chief Executive Officer, was responding to concerns raised about the issue on Australia’s TV programme Dateline on Wednesday night.

First, Adair sought to play down the company’s involvement in Taib’s insane master plan  by claiming the company was just advising in a peripheral role.

Despite the fact that their man Andrew Pattle is the ‘Project Leader’ on the Murum Dam and the planned Baram and Belaga Dams, Adair told ABC radio in Australia that Hydro-Tas was just:

one of many consultants working on what is a project costing in excess of 100 billion dollars”

But, speaking for the Government of Sarawak, Senator Idris Buang had already undermined such back-tracking:

“We get expertise, we get guidance, we get 100 years of experience from Tasmania…. if there’s any image boost, it just comes naturally, but that is not our intention”.[Dateline, Last Frontier 22/8/12]

Second, Roy Adair made another key claim, which was that Hydro-Tasmania had thoroughly vetted Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), headed by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s cousin, Hamed Sepawi, before agreeing to take up any role in helping Sarawak’s extraordinary dam projects.

He explained on Australia’s ABC Radio that this meant that Hydro-Tas had made a crucial check to ensure that SEB was a member of the International Hydro-power Association.  He said:

“Now the check that we have made on Sarawak Energy Berhad, and this is the power company that is now heading up the development of the renewable energy corridor in Sarawak .. we have checked that SEB is a member of the International Hydropower Association and following the International Hydropower Association protocol on sustainable development.”[ABC Radio 23/8/12]

When asked what this meant, i.e. what actual auditing had been carried out? Adair waffled:

ABC – And so my question is what auditing do you do? What process do you have for auditing your involvement and is that publically available?

 Roy – Well the auditing that we do is that we check basically who is the entity we are involved in, what is the project involved. This is part and parcel of our initial checks on deciding whether we are going to bid for the project in itself. So this is not so much auditing as these are pre-bid checks that we undertake and these are comprehensive and they therefore decide do we wish to be associated with an entity like this. Is there any shadow over them and we have found that in dealing with Sarawak Energy Berhad they have been a company of absolute integrity.

In making these statements Roy Adair implied first that membership of the International Hydro-power Association was a badge of respectability and sufficient recommendation to do business with and second that SEB had been a member of this organisation when Hydro-Tasmania first carried out its supposedly rigorous ‘pre-bid checks’ on the company.


Were the listeners of ABC radio in Australia satisfied by these platitudes?  In which case perhaps they would care to download a membership form for the IHA?

We have established that a Corporate entitity like SEB can join this industry association for as little as a thousand pounds plus a signature in support of the demanding and stringent declaration below!

Pay a thousand pounds and sign up to the above waffle and then apparently Hydro-Tas are satisfied !

NGOs like International Rivers have consistently raised concerns about the International Hydro-power Association’s protocol on sustainability, saying that it is nothing more than a self-serving Industry body attempting to set its own flexible standards and avoid proper regulation.

With particular relevance to Sarawak the NGO complains that there are no human rights considerations or environment standards written into the recent IHA protocol:

“The IHA Protocol is a pure assessment tool. Measuring the respect for rights and standards is not the same as respecting them. The Protocol does not define any minimal requirements of sus- tainability or a bottomline of acceptability for hydropower projects. It does not even require respect for human rights, international conventions and national laws” [Voluntary Approach Will Not Resolve Dam Conflicts, Save Rivers]

Populations from the the Bakun and Batang Ai areas of Sarawak, who have been forced from their lands and tricked with false promises of compensation and wealth can testify only too clearly on Sarawak’s failings on all these counts.

Yet, Sarawak Energy Berhad in fact paid £3,000 to join the IHA, so it is classed as a Corporate 1 member.  What proof is this of anything at all?

Sarawak only joined in 2010, yet it is hosting the 2013 Annual Conference as a Board Member!

But, it appears that Mr Adair was not only misleading about the significance of membership of the IHA. We have established that what he had implied just wasn’t true.

He implied in his ABC Radio interview that Hydro-Tas had checked that SEB was a member of this International Hydro-power Association BEFORE getting involved in the projects in Sarawak, as part of the “pre-bid checks that we undertake”.

However, in fact Entura, Hydro-Tasmania’s subsidiary, has been involved in Sarawak on projects since 2008, whereas SEB only joined the International Hydro-power Association in 2010!

Entura - Hydro-Tas's subsidiary was at work in Sarawak from 2008!

Interestingly, within just one year, by 2011, SEB’s Norwegian boss, Torstein Dale Sjotviet (who is paid a princely $4million per annum) had rocketed onto the Board of this illustrious and sustainability-conscious organisation and so in the same year did Roy Adair!

What’s more, as soon as next year, in 2013, the annual convention of this credible bastion of sustainability is due to be held in Kuching!  Preparations are already being made, according to the Borneo Post, aided by the ‘expertise’ of Hydro-Tasmania!

Indeed the Chairman of Hydro-Tasmania, David Crean, was reported as making a visit to Kuching earlier this year to visit Taib’s Planning Minister Awang Tengah as part of the preparatory exercise for the event.

David Crean is of course the brother of Simon Crean, one of the most vocal politicians in Tasmania supporting the logging of high conservation forests by Ta Ann, a firm Chaired and owned by Taib Mahmud’s cousin, Hamid Sepawi.  Hamid Sepawi is also the Chairman of SEB.  So, what is going on?!

The event is to be held in the Borneo Convention Centre of course! Taib handed this project to his favourite sister Raziah to 'build' and she is now the Chairman of the events centre in Kuching!

Questions that Hydro-Tasmania and Roy Adair are waffling at instead of answering

– What audits have they made as to the integrity of SEB, the State of Sarawak and the 12 new dam projects that they have become involved in?

– Why are they refusing to give details of the environmental and social impact assessments they have made on these dams (if indeed any have been made)?

– Their Project Leader, Andrew Pattle, has acknowledged that safety, social responsibility and environmental standards are lower in Malaysia than Tasmania.  Why is that acceptable to a company that boasts that it only operates to the ‘highest benchmarks’ of international standards?

– Is it acceptable to flood hundreds of square miles of the Borneo Jungle and displace hundreds of thousands of indigenous people, who own that land for a series of dams for which there is no electricity demand and no demonstrable business plan?

– Why is Hydro-Tasmania pandering to the megalomaniac mega-projects of a depraved multi-billionaire, septuagenarian dictator, who is even under investigation for corruption within his own country Malaysia?

There are two final questions that Sarawak Report would like to put to Mr Roy Adair.  Is there anything he wouldn’t do for money and how stupid does he think we all are?




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    Australia and Sarawak not much difference actually, both founded by CROOKS

    Whatever the Australia may be now, the veins and bloods of Crooks Convicts still running until now and more than willing to help, transit, hide all Billions of loot from Sarawak people money

    Ironic isn’t it Australia champion itself as human rights advocate but beneath protecting Taib lootings plunderings and the rest gangs of BN Crooks

    Australia really safe heaven for Crooks hiding their Multi Billion lootings second to none after Switzerland, Monaco, Caribbean tax pirate offshore account islands

    How very true of this prophecy until now by Aboriginal activist Jenny Munro :

    ”In 200 years white Australians have learned very little about Aboriginal people, the importance of land to us, the importance of relationships to us. They have demonstrated their moral bankruptcy in so many different ways.”



    Convict Australia – Journey through our nation’s criminal past

    Brad Newsome, The Age, January 19, 2012

    Pay TV show of the week: Convict Australia, History, Thursday, 3.30pm

    THE History Channel hasn’t exactly busted a gut coming up with Australia Day programming this year. While it’s no doubt true that this program is, as the preview disc proudly declares, an ”Australian premiere documentary”, it’s also true that it was made way back in 1998. But don’t let that put you off – it’s still a good one. And it might even introduce you to a thing or two about which you’ve never heard.

    The first of these might come even before presenter Ian Wright (of the original Lonely Planet program fame) departs Britain for the antipodes. It seems that it was the done thing for convicts awaiting transportation was to painstakingly inscribe pennies with messages to their loved ones. On a boat on Portsmouth Harbour, Wright displays two of them and reads the inscriptions: ”Dear Sarah, When this you see remember me, when I’m in some foreign country” and ”I love thee ’til death shall take my breath.” They are, as Wright says, very sad – ”almost like tombstones of their lives in England.”

    When Wright arrives in Sydney, more interesting stuff follows, not least a look at the designs of the big back tattoos that convicts had done to send a message when their backs were bared for flogging. One of them exhorts – or taunts – the flogger to do his duty; another is a picture of Christ on the cross.

    But the documentary isn’t without its annoying oversimplifications. For one thing, Britain didn’t set about colonising Australia merely to keep convicts ”out of sight and out of mind” – there were important strategic and economic motives too. But the most frustrating thing is that while the documentary has captions to identify the places that Wright visits, it has no captions to identify the people he speaks to.

    You have to wait until the credits roll (and then hit the pause button if you can) to find out, for instance, that it was the Aboriginal activist Jenny Munro to whom he was speaking at the January 26, Day of Mourning protest in Sydney. Munro doesn’t mince words: ”In 200 years white Australians have learned very little about Aboriginal people, the importance of land to us, the importance of relationships to us. They have demonstrated their moral bankruptcy in so many different ways.” Munro also explains that Aborigines around Sydney felt sorry for the convicts they saw being brutally treated and helped them when they fled to the bush.

    It’s pleasing that the documentary seeks out an Aboriginal perspective and also that it looks at how the white perceptions of convicts have changed. From Sydney, Wright moves on to Canberra to learn about the convicts’ conditions of parole, to Port Arthur to learn about how that ”model” prison was an experiment in sensory deprivation, and to Norfolk Island, where conditions and punishments were so horrific that, legend has it, many convicts saw communal suicide as their only option.

  • Baleh Madman

    Making a fool of himself lah this James Masing

    “…Host Fauziah Ibrahim had asked Masing if he felt guilty, as a person of indigenous descent, over indigenous people being displaced to make way for economic development…I feel that is the CORRECT way of doing it…”

    “…On whether there was “crony capitalism” going on in Sarawak, Masing replied in the negative because no one has been brought to book over such matters….“I don’t think so. If there is, those who deal in it would be dealt by the law. Until today, there is nothing. One must assume there is NO cronyism as such,” he said…”


    Masing pleads ‘not guilty’ over indigenous displacement

    Malaysia Kini, 21 March 2009

    Sarawak Land Development Minister James Masing told a TV news channel that he has absolutely no guilt over the displacement of indigenous people caused by the construction of hydro-electric dams in the state.

    “I don’t feel guilty. I feel that is the correct way of doing it. I don’t have any guilt feeling for trying to help my people,” said Masing on the Al-Jazeera’s 101 East programme Thursday night. [Watch 10-min video]

    Video Part1:
    Video Part2:

    Host Fauziah Ibrahim had asked Masing if he felt guilty, as a person of indigenous descent, over indigenous people being displaced to make way for economic development.

    During the programme, Masing defended the construction of dams, such as the massive Bakun hydroelectric dam and the proposal to build 12 new ones, because the state government was preparing for the future.

    “Sarawak has enough energy as it is today. But we must look 20 years down the road. By that time we may not have enough energy. You know very well the cost of fuel (is escalating),” he said.

    Masing defends CM

    Masing also defended the involvement of Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a company owned by family members of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud in the construction of the dams.

    “The dam constructions are done to legal tenders. The lowest tender gets it. It doesn’t matter if CMS or somebody else. It must be done on tender basis.

    “That is very transparent. The international community can take a look at it… it is an open book for everyone to look,” he said.

    When Fuziah pointed out that there are numerous cases in which projects were given to companies linked to Taib without open tenders, Masing said: “I was not aware of it”.

    Fuziah replied by that the Similajau aluminum smelting plant was given to CMS while the construction of several bridges were awarded to Titanium Management Sdn Bhd, which Taib’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir holds substantial interest in.

    ‘Everything was transparent’

    Even with evidence presented before him, Masing maintained that these awards were given fairly and in accordance with the law.

    “We have rules and laws… If there is a decision made by people who have vested interest, there are laws which does not allow it. It is illegal for people in authority to give authority with vested interest.

    “All these things have been done through open tenders. They are transparent,” he said.

    “In the case of the aluminum smelter, there were a few companies that were asked to bid for it. I know. And the best company gets it.

    “Unfortunately, it was given to a company where the authority has some interest. But it is done legally,” he added.

    ‘I’m a friend of the chief minister’

    Meanwhile, Fuziah also scrutinised Masing over his links to Taib. Masing admitted that he was an “ally” to Taib, but gave a less outright answer when asked if he was Taib’s “crony”.

    “I don’t think (so). Crony means friends. I am a friend of the chief minister,” he said.

    On whether there was “crony capitalism” going on in Sarawak, Masing replied in the negative because no one has been brought to book over such matters.

    “I don’t think so. If there is, those who deal in it would be dealt by the law. Until today, there is nothing. One must assume there is no cronyism as such,” he said.

    On who would keep the chief minister and his family accountable, Masing said the electorate would.

    “I believe the voters in Sarawak are a very intelligent group of people,” he added.

    ———–Interview transcript————–

    Fauziah Ibrahim (FI):

    It’s been a lot controversy of the environmental fallout of the Bakun dam which currently it has not been finished yet and yet there are plans to build 12 more new dams. Are these extra dams necessary?

    James Jemut Masing (JJM):

    For Sarawak it is necessary. Sarawak will require clean and cheap electricity that is renewable and for Sarawak it will not be…it is only wise for us to utilise the rainfall that we have and the rivers that we have…dams need to be built to provide cheap and renewable energy.

    FI – There are experts though say that Sarawak has enough energy and there is no need 12 new dams.

    JJM – Sarawak has enough energy as it is today but we must look down toward 20 years down the road and by that time we may not have enough energy. You know very well the cost of fuel (is escalating).

    FI – Are you expecting the same sort of environmental fallout that we say from the Bakun dam?

    JJM – I don’t think there is such thing as environmental fallout. I don’t believe that is correct.

    FI – Ten thousand people displaced.

    JJM – That is not environmental fallout..that is..

    FI – Virgin forest being cut down.

    JJM – Virgin forest are half of the area, half of the area has been felled, shelved by shifted cultivators so basically what is in that dictated exactly are felled forest…secondary forest…

    FI – And what about the indigenous people that lived there? They lost their livelihoods, they lost their homes…

    JJM – Well, not quite lose their home…they are resettled and have them moved to new areas which has have trend toward modern development and that’s what we’re trying to do.

    FI – Were they consulted though? Many of them are unhappy that they have been moved. They had no say about this move and they lost their traditional way of life.

    JJM – That is not quite correct. I was one of the social scientist that did the survey prior to the Bakun dam and I spend a few years with consultants from oversea try to work out make sure that they’re resettled in areas which they have the say in it and they have consulted and the fact that the longhouses that we built in Bakun are in fact are joint venture effort between the government and the people who were resettled and that is why they are still staying in the longhouses with the difference.

    FI – But what about the 12 new dams? What preparation has been made for these indigenous tribes?

    JJM – The proposal of the 12 new dams is just a proposal for the next maybe 20, 25 years down the road. I think government…any responsible government must be responsible for what happen in the future. You cannot assume today we have enough therefore no need to prepare for the future. If you that, to me that is irresponsible government.

    FI – That is understandable that the future that you’re talking about, the economic future of Sarawak. But what about the future of these indigenous tribe?

    JJM – They have been allocated for their future and that is why we have the consultant with them all the time. To accuse us that we don’t consult them is wrong.

    FI – How much is the construction of these new dams link to boosting the family business for the chief minister’s family?

    JJM – I don’t think there is…(Smiling)

    FI – Well the family business is Cahya Mata Sarawak, CMS and they will be providing the construction materials for the dams.

    JJM – Not for the next 12 dams…

    FI – Not for the next 12 dams? Where would be…is CMS in any way link to the dams?

    JJM – (Pause)..Not that I’m not aware of…That dam structure are done to legal tenders and the lowest tender gets it. It doesn’t matter whether if CMS or somebody else. It must be done on tender basis.

    FI – Right.

    JJM – And that is very transparent tender and international community can have a look at that.

    FI – Alright Ok, but these dams have nothing to do with the chief minister?

    JJM – No, what happen is done is done on very transparent methods of tendering process and that can gives open book for people to have a look.

    FI – And so you are saying CMS will not be providing with building materials for these dams?

    JJM – If they are qualified and they found that they deemed to be qualified, why not? It is open tender process. The best will get it.

    FI – They has been though in the history of Sarawak that in the thirty years of the chief minister’s history with Sarawak there have been cases where there has not been open tender and this is flouting state’s legislation.

    JJM – I’m not aware of it…(Smiling)

    FI – Well right, I tell you that there is no open tender for the aluminium smelting project Rio Tinto, that was given to CMS family-owned business by the chief minister.

    JJM – (Looks guilty…)

    FI – There is no open tender for 2006 contract to repair or build bridges and that was awarded to Titanium Management of which the chief minister’s son is the major shareholders. Now both these two case that we’ve been able to come out with…there are others that people have told us. Now both these cases flout state legislation.

    JJM – What…(try to interject and smile)

    FI – Is it fair to say those state contracts are given to CMS and the chief minister’s family business.

    JJM – What we must understand that we do have rules and laws regarding people to decide. If the decision is made by people with vested interest there are laws that would not allow it.

    (Adjusting his neck-tie!) It is illegal, you know also very well, it is illegal for people have their authority to give the authority with vested interest. It is illegal…you cannot do it because there is no illegality in it. I won’t assume there is none but all these things are done through tender process which are transparent.

    FI – But these cases has been not given on open tender…

    JJM – There are…there are bidding for it…

    FI – Rio Tinto case…Titanium Management…

    JJM – There are few companies that has been ask to bid for it, I know, and the best company gets it…and fortunately…unfortunately…given to the company in which the authority has some interest but it is done legally.

    FI – Are you saying that there is no capital cronyism in Sarawak?

    JJM – I don’t think so…If there is, those who deal with that will be dealt by the law. Until today there is nothing, so one word must assume there is no cronyism as such.

    FI – The chief minister is also state finance, he is also planning minister. His family business includes the cement manufacturing, construction, road maintenance, property development…these same business that we found have been involved in lucrative infrastructure projects. You can understand how improper it may seem and you saying there is no capital cronyism in Sarawak?

    JJM – That is assumption…to me that is assumption…as I said it must be very important that there are laws in this land that prevent the happening of that nature. If laws that people find that there are people who breaking that law, then they must be put to task but until today there is none.

    FI – Who will hold the chief minister and his family accountable?

    JJM – The electorate. Every five years you go…to the electorate and they will decide whether you are guilty or not. And I believe that the voters in Sarawak are very intelligent voters and they will know if you done wrong. And if they cannot get through legal means, they can get through the political process. So far you can’t blame them we come clean with it .

    FI – In some ways though you also been considered an ally of the chief minister. You yourself…

    JJM – I am…

    FI – You admit you are an ally…

    JJM – I am an ally…

    FI – Crony of the chief minister..?

    JJM – I don’t think…crony means friends…I am a friend of…

    FI – A friend of the chief minister…

    JJM – Yes…(Eye blinking! Wink! Wink!)

    FI – You are of indigenous decend…

    JJM – I am…(wink! wink!)

    FI – You are also the state land development minister…

    JJM – Yes..I am…

    FI – And this is at a time when there is a lot of anger of the displacement of thousands of indigenous people because of huge dam that are as experts say economically unfeasible and useless.

    JJM – I…(Smile)

    FI – Do you feel guilty that as an indigenous person that these people have been displaced for economic reasons..?

    JJM – I feel that is the correct way of doing it. I don’t think because I think it is correct. I don’t have any guilt feeling and trying to help my people, no I don’t have.

    FI – Minister, thank you for your time.

    JJM – Thank you .

    FI – We did invite the chief minister to appear on this programme but his office decline. And that’s all the time we have for 101 East, thank you very much for watching and see you again next week.

  • Robert Wong

    Australians should stop Hydro Tasmania from working for the corrupt and abusive Sarawak government, their cronies, proxies, agencies and companies. Australians would be of great help to Malaysians especially Sarawakians by igniting a series of court actions on Australian soil. Legal actions in Australia would be more effective and transparent than in the law courts of Malaysia. For Malaysians to seek a recourse in Malaysian law courts would be similar to striking a jackpot, one day you win big, on appeal, you may lose everything including disappearing from planet earth!