No Legal Action As SUCCC Willing To Talk With Veetar For a Better JV Deal

By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC) will negotiate for better terms rather than take legal action against a company for alleged ‘lopsided’ agriculture and reforestation joint venture (JV) agreements entered back in 1998 between the two parties.

SUCCC president Gan Sau Wah said it was felt that negotiations would be far more worthwhile than a costly legal battle, which no party would benefit, and with no guarantee that it would be favourable to the chambers.

GAN SAU WAH

Gan said he had been given the green light by the seven-member sub-committee to handle negotiations with Veetar Kinabalu Plantations Sdn Bhd, after the committee had met recently to decide on the course of action.

This, he said, was one of the three resolutions passed during the meeting presided by SUCCC honorary life president, Andrew Liew Sui Fatt, who is also the chairman of the said sub-committee, on Monday.

The first step is to obtain the relevant documents pertaining to the said JV agreements which were lost during the previous administration (of SUCCC), said Gan.

“It is important for SUCCC to secure a better deal from Veetar via diplomatic approach, instead of through legal means,” he told reporters, adding that the company was also open to negotiations.

Last month, Gan led a delegation to meet and discuss with Veetar’s person-in-charge Lim Kim Yeow on the matter, in which the latter had proposed a ‘brand new offer’ to SUCCC, but it was not considered satisfactory.

It had been reported previously that SUCCC had signed the agreements with Veetar to develop an agriculture land and forest management unit (FMU) allocated by the State Government, back in 1998.

However, the JV projects have caused much dispute within SUCCC as the association opined that its interest in the projects had been ‘compromised’ by the JV agreements which they deemed ‘lopsided’ and had only benefited a ‘privileged few’ in the association.

The matter was made complicated following the discovery of two identical agreements on the agriculture and reafforestation joint venture (JV) projects that were signed by different individuals six months apart.

There was also evidence of six cheques made payable to the late Sari Nuar, the then SUCCC president, which amounted to RM4.8 million (RM800,000 for each cheque) during the six-month period in between the signing of the first and second JV contracts.

This was highlighted by Gan in 2014, after he was re-elected to helm the association for the second term.