DAP: What Is The Revival Plan For Failed Projects Under SDC, SFI Too

FLASHBACK: Bill Hertzig, President of Darden Aquafarm INC made a courtesy call on Chief Minister Musa Aman in October 2012.

TAWAU: Chan Foong Hin, the Sabah DAP Secretary has alleged that many of the flagship projects or Entry Point Projects (EPP) under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) have been stalled for years since its inception years ago.

He urged the State government to join local based corporations to work hand in hand with SDC to salvage those missing EPP.

The Sri Tanjong Assemblyman, in a statement, pointed out that this year is the 10th year anniversary of SDC.

Launched during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the former prime minister’s time, the SDC came hand-in-hand with the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) introduced by the current prime minister Najib Razak. Under the ETP there is Entry Point Project (EPP) which could have high impact on SDC and transform the economy.

Foong Hin Chan at the entrance to the Tawau Green Energy site. The road, constructed with federal funds is said to have been badly damaged.

It is timely to review SDC performance. Firstly, since 2008, the cumulative investment totaled RM163 bilion as at second quarter of last year, how much of it being realized? Cumulative invesment for who will commit to do the investment but not necessary all realized.

“If the RM163 billion generated by EPP, my question is where are some of the announced EPP today? There are EPP that are missing,” he claimed.

For example in Tawau, the Tawau Green Energy (TGE) at Apas Kiri to produce 37MW geothermal power is one of the EPP and the latest news received was that 26.7 percent of its shares was acquired by Ranhill Holding Sdn Bhd last year fourth quarter.

“The project seems at a standstill. The road to the project site which was built using federal government grant RM35 million is in poor condition now,” he said.

Apas Kiri project site, Sabah, where Malaysia’s supposedly first thermal energy plant is at a standstill. – Photo source Tawau Green Energy

Another missing EPP he said is Darden Aquasciences Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc., a Fortune 500 company in US. The project is for lobster farm on a 6,000 hectare site under the integrated lobster aquaculture park (iLAP) in Semporna, with a RM1 billion investment.

“Another missing EPP is Alorie Lepa-Lepa Resort over 80 acres of seawater area near Mabul Island. The promised investment is RM164 billion. Where are these promised investment?” he asked.

Chan said he only considered the Sipadan Mangrove Resort which is still running, as a success, but considered those he mentioned as failures.

Those EPP have been receiving some form of subsidies or government assistance to promote economic transformation. However, the problem lies when investors could simply get away scot free, leaving a mess for the government.

Therefore, Chan reminded the government that they should come out with a solution on this matter, otherwise the locals would be affected.

He said the review of SDC must reflect the missing EPP and the government must come clean on the missing and standstill projects which have utilized government’s grant and cost tax payers money.

On the other hand, although the Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) was not part of the SDC, the government have the obligation to revive the paper mill in Sipitang, which is facing financial crisis now. Employees were forced to receive half of their salaries started this year.

He criticized the result of aforementioned project is one of many examples to show that the Musa-led government have failed the people of Sabah.

“I don’t think Musa Aman is fulfilling his promise to develop the SDC. His most successful ‘achievement’ thus far is probably only the grandeur of his own office, the state administration building at a cost of hundreds of millions.”