Saturday 28 May 2011

Declassify IPP agreements, DAP tells Putrajaya By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The government must declassify the independent power producer (IPP) agreements to justify its failure to restructure the contracts and to allow public scrutiny, the DAP has said.
“The government must declassify the independent power producer (IPP) agreements to justify their refusal and failure to restructure these wildly unfair contracts which allows them to make astronomical returns at the expense of the people,” DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said in a statement today.

The opposition has stated that the Najib administration would only spur inflation by removing the diesel super subsidy before cutting “big opium” gas subsidies worth RM19 billion for IPPs and commercial power sectors.
But MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek countered that argument by saying that Putrajaya is unable to do so because it is tied up in agreements with various IPPs, and to restructure the agreements would put the government in a bad light.

Pua stressed that there was a need to make public the IPP purchasing power agreements (PPA), and used the highway toll concession agreements as an example. After the agreements were declassified in 2009, “close scrutiny” showed well-defined terms which allowed the government to buy back the concessions.
The declassification of the highway toll concessions, according to the DAP leader also proved that former Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was “lying” when he charged that the government would have to fork out billions of ringgit in compensation should the concession contracts be terminated.
“It is only with the declassification of the PPAs from the Official Secrets Act (OSA) that Dr Chua can prove that he is not another Samy Vellu who tried to protect the interest of the crony concessionaires while hiding behind the OSA,” said the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, who added that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had no confidence with the government’s political will in renegotiating the IPP contracts.
He said that if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was serious about contract renegotiation, he would not have waited for two years before acting on it.
“The latest announcement on renegotiations is only a meek attempt to placate an angry rakyat, and to buy more time for the IPPs which have only a few years left in their contracts to continue to profit under the current terms of their agreement,” Pua stressed.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has said the government expects the subsidy burden to double from RM10.32 billion to RM20.58 billion this year.

Najib also said fuel subsidies were “like opium” to the Malaysian economy and would have to be gradually slashed as the initial bill of RM11 billion had soared to RM18 billion for the year due to escalating crude oil prices

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