The State Government has appointed Sabah Foundation as a local partner to implement the controversial carbon trading deal known as the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA).Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said that the state Cabinet endorsed the decision last Wednesday for Sabah Foundation to work closely with Singapore-based firm Hoch Standard Pte Ltd over the NCA.“Hoch Standard will assist Sabah Foundation in this new role by providing the necessary technology and know-how to ensure the implementation of the NCA will be done accordingly,” he said.
“Sabah Foundation will sign a separate service agreement with Hoch Standard. Under the service agreement, Hoch Standard is expected to pay Sabah Foundation 5 per cent of its gross revenue from the NCA for the Sabah Foundation’s activities related to the NCA.”It is believed that Hoch Standard will be paid some 30 per cent of earnings from the carbon deal.Sabah Foundation is a state body that was set up to further educational opportunities for Sabahans but has since diversified into other economic investments and activities to boost its income.
Given the deputy chief minister’s exposed position over this notorious affair you might have thought the Sabah state government would have wheeled out someone else to make this announcement about an alleged state cabinet decision to keep the discredited Carbon Cowboy scam alive (aka the Nature Conservation Agreement).
However, clearly no one else is prepared to touch the issue. Equally clearly Sabah’s deputy CM has remained determined to double down and leverage his ‘kingmaker’ position as the defector who has kept the present coalition in office by keeping alive this this astonishingly outrageous but lucrative proposal.
The billions in potential private profit earmarked under this so-called NCA Agreement are due to go to an anonymously owned BVI company called Lionsgate. Perhaps Mr Kitingan can enlighten Sabahans as to the shareholders given it is he who has driven this deal? So far he has refused to do so.
Meanwhile, his latest ploy is to attempt to fig leaf the “Incomplete”, “illegal”, “inequitable”, “absurd”, “unfair” arrangement (to quote Sabah’s own Attorney General) by dragging the already discredited Yayasan Sabah into the mix as the new ‘local partner’. This is an organisation that has sadly been enmeshed in numerous timber kickback scandals over the years as the forests it was meant to conserve were mowed down.
Indeed, some of those scandals involved the very same Mr Kitingan who was charged in 1990 with receiving over a million ringgit in timber kickbacks whilst himself director of the Yayasan foundation (his brother being chief minister of the state). His aide de camp at Yayasan was the same Stan Lassa Golokin who is now the ‘authorised representative’ of the Singapore private company Hoch Standard Pty Ltd that is party to the ‘NCA’.
As for the laughable claim that “Hoch Standard will assist Sabah Foundation in this new role by providing the necessary technology and know-how” might one remind readers that Hoch Standard is a one thousand dollar special purpose vehicle set up to sign the agreement that gives it a guaranteed 30% of the putative $80 billion that Sabah could stand to earn in profits from carbon sales under this arrangement. All costs of the arrangement will be carried by the state and there is a cast iron penalty clause.
Hoch Standard therefore is a shell company without staff, expertise, resources or anything else beyond the dubious record of Mr Golokin to recommend it as an advisor to Yayasan Sabah. By agreeing now that in return Hoch Standard will pay 5% of its loot to the foundation Kitingan has merely agreed to a minor haircut on the deal in what he plainly sees as a compromise having been caught red handed trying to loot the state.
Everyone knows the situation is preposterous and outrageously corrupted. However, the present Sabah government is in hock to Kanga Kitingan and his Hoch Standard, Lionsgate consortium. So, rather than bring in the cops they are giving in, in just the same manner they let the timber kickback king Musa Aman off his string of kleptocracy charges.
Meanwhile, the same Kitingan who achieved his good election result by preaching racial politics against Sabah’s settlers is now abandoning those voters by agreeing to tackle the necessary concessions he had promised to oppose.
If the present state government is unable to act against Kitingan Sabahans should accept the fact that corrupt actors will never work in the public interest and vote the lot of them back out.