Monday, 23 July 2012

Sidek’s girl ‘failed to meet requirements’

Companies belonging to Suzi Suliana did not meet certain requirements in their application for solar energy programme, claims Pakatan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat leaders alleged today that Putrajaya had awarded most of its solar energy contracts to companies belonging to the daughter of former chief secretary to the government, Mohd Sidek Hassan, despite failing to meet certain requirements in their application.

The fresh allegations came just after Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) denied any foul play in the contract award process through a statement and advertorials carried by most of the government-owned newspapers on Sunday.

Sidek’s daughter, Suzi Suliana – together with her husband, Todd Morath, and two business partners – controlled 12 out of 32 companies that had won the “lion’s share” of the nation’s solar energy quota under the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) programme.

DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua, in mocking the adverts, claimed Suzi’s companies had failed to meet the pre- and post-application financial requirements and also the critical pre-application technical requirements.

On the financial requirements, Pua said Seda had violated its own regulations when it said in the advertorial that it had allowed companies with RM2 paid-up capital to apply for the programme in a bid to ensure “fairness”.

This is a direct violation of a law which stated the need for applicants to have a secured finance or at least 20% credit balance of the total capital cost of installing the FiT system, said Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

RM2 company

Suzi’s companies were said to have secured 45.9MW of Feed-in-Approvals (FiA), meaning it would require investments of RM397 million. A 20% credit balance meant her companies must show at least RM73 million in the accounts.

Seda also said that a successful applicant must have a minimum of RM200,000 in paid-up capital or 2% of the project cost, failing which the FiA would be revoked.

“This is where Seda shot itself in the foot with its explanation and raised more questions than answers.

“The latest information from the Companies Commission of Malaysia showed that at least eight of the successful 12 companies had paid-up capital of only RM100 – more than six months after they were awarded FiA,” Pua told reporters here.

Most of the companies could not have possibly passed the technical requirements when eight of them were only set up 21 days before the Dec 2, 2011 deadline when it takes 30 days for the power system study (PSS) to be completed.

Preferential treatment

According to Seda’s portal, any company applying to supply 1MW to 10MW will have to submit a written request to the power distribution licensee for them to conduct the PSS which will take 30 days to complete at a cost of RM40,000.

“Did Seda break the law to award these companies the FiA? Was Suzi given preferential treatment as a result of being the daughter of Sidek?” asked Pua.

He said that Seda had also indirectly admitted to incompetence when it said in its denial that Suzi’s companies were not the only one that won more than one of the FiT solar power contract.

He said the violations were clear admissions by Seda that it had failed to ensure fair competition in the FiT system as specified in the Renewable Energy Act.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was also present, said she would encourage Seda chairman Fong Chan Onn and Green Technology, Energy and Water Minister, Peter Chin Fah Kui, to meet them and explain the matter with transparency.

Seda has said it is mulling legal action against Pua and Nurul Izzah for what it described as “unwarranted and unjustified” allegations and claimed the agency had always adhered to strict standards in the awarding the contracts.

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