Friday 17 June 2011

Speaker bars ‘question’ on Taib-linked property

KUCHING: The Sarawak legislative assembly Speaker has rejected a request by a newly elected representative for details of a proposed development by Monarda Sdn Bhd, in the BDC Kuching district area.

Monarda is owned by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s son and daughters.

Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei said he received a letter from the Speaker’s office informing him that his written question on the matter, which was submitted for the next week assembly’s sitting, has been rejected. The assembly sits from June 20-23.

Wong said according to the letter signed by the secretary of the assembly Supian Tarmizi Mohd Tazuddin, the rejection was based on Section 20 (1) (a)(c) of the standing orders that a question cannot be asked that ‘imputes an improper motive which you cannot substantive.’

Wong’s question was aimed at Taib who is also the Minister of Planning and Resource Management.
Wong wanted to know more about the the proposed or approved plans for the development on Lots 9192, 9193 and 9194 all of Block 11 Muara Tabuan Land district located at BDC, Kuching.

The plots measuring a total acreage of approximately 269 acres were alienated without tender to Monarda.
Said an upset Wong: “If there is nothing to hide, why has the Barisan Nasional government stopped me from asking this question?

“This question is regarding transparent and clean governance, so we want the BN to be transparent and to disclose the proposed or approved plan which will be carried out on this land.

“I have raised my objection. I wrote a letter to the assembly (in reply) using the (same) standing orders to (say that to) object to my question is unfair to me.”

Public interest

Wong is insisting that the question should be allowed in the coming sitting and the government must provide the answers.

“There is nothing we cannot substantiate, because it is very clear. We also have proof that the land was alienated to Monarda Sdn Bhd without tender.

“We also have proof that this company is owned by son and daughters of chief minister.

“The issue is of public interest, and the public want to know what happens to the land.

“It is not fair to me and to the public for the Speaker of the assembly to reject my question,” he added.

According to records obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Monarda is headed by Taib’s eldest son Abu Bekir. Bekir who owns 52 percent of the shares.

Taib’s daughters Jamilah and Hanifah Hajar and his daughter-in-law Anisa Abdullah own 12 percent shares each.

Anisa or Elisa Chan is the daughter of Sarawak United Peoples Party president George Chan and the wife of Kota Samarahan MP Sulaiman Taib. The other 10 percent of shares are owned by Choong Sun Nam.

The land is currently vacant and Monarda has not done anything since it bought it in May last year.

Representative suspended

The issue of Monarda was a hot topic during the recent state election on April 16 because it was allegedly purchased at ‘grossly’ below market price.

Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen, who is also state DAP secretary, had first raised the issue in the assembly last year.

Chong said that the company had obtained the land at a very low price causing the government to lose at least RM300 million in potential revenue.

The company paid RM291,000 per acre on average, said Chong, describing the price as ‘grossly and obscenely’ underpriced.

The market rate is between RM1.5 million to RM2 million per acre.

The company only paid RM78.28 million for the three parcels of land instead of RM500 million.

Last year a number of opposition elected representatives were suspended for asking ‘sensitive’ questions or raising ‘sensitive’ issues in the state legislative assembly.

One opposition representative Violet Yong (Pending) even had her speech, which had touched on Taib’s family business, deleted from the Hansard.

A shocked Yong had protested the deletion, but the Speaker refused to listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment