* Note: Please refer to clarification statement below (13/11/13)
Together with Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for Lembah Pantai, we have exposed in our press conference last Tuesday that 45.9MW or 32.4% of the allocation to supply solar power has gone to 12 companies owned by Suzi Suliana bt Mohd Sidek and her husband, Todd Michael Morath, as well as 2 business partners. Their ownership is hidden via a complex layer of holding companies and joint ventures. Suzi Suliana happens to be the daughter of Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the recently retired Chief Secretary to the Government, and newly appointed chairman of Petronas Bhd. [this figure is erroneous, it should be 23.6%] Their combined allocation is much larger than established companies of Cypark and Petronas Power which received 9.2% and 7.1% of the allocation respectively.
SEDA Chairman Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn had insisted that “the selection was above board as it was done through an online system”. More specifically, Tan Sri Dr Fong explained that “the companies had met all the necessary technical criteria as well as financial commitments”.
However, I had further highlighted the fact that at least 8 out of 12 companies successful companies were set up on 11 November 2011, exactly 3 weeks before the 2nd December 2011 application deadline. The rest of the companies were all set up less than 6 months before the deadline.
What is worse is the fact that 9 of the above companies had paid up capital of only RM100 each! Hence the obvious question to ask SEDA and its honourable chairman is, how is it that brand new companies with only RM100 paid up capital had met “all the necessary technical criteria as well as financial commitments”?
Instead of disclosing how these technical criteria and financial commitments were met, Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn had threatened to sue me for defamation.
He further added, "the lawyers are looking into it. I mean if you have a company, you registered yesterday and apply today, I can't reject (your application) right?"
Based on the above reply, I am only more certain than ever that he is either completely clueless or is not telling the truth to the public.
The 18-page Feed-in Approval Application Form (Solar PV >72kWp) specifically requires a “site use agreement” for the proposed site to farm the solar energy (Page 2).
In addition, the application requires very specific financing compliance, that is either in the form of “conditional letter(s) of approval from the entity(ies) who will be providing financing to the Applicant for the project” or a “bank account statement showing a credit balance of at least the total capital cost of the renewable energy installation”. In addition, even if the project is to be financed, “the Applicant’s bank account statement showing a credit balance of at least 20% of the total capital cost of the renewable energy installation.”
Can a company which is freshly set up only 3 weeks before the application deadline meet the above fairly onerous requirements? What’s more for a company which is only set up a day before the deadline as clarified by Tan Sri Dr Fong.
What is worse is the fact that we are not talking about 1 company securing a small allocation of say, 1MW. What we are seeing here is the fact that the Feed-in Approval Holders have been awarded to 12 different newly set up companies with no track record and no employees, belonging to the same set of shareholders, taking up 32.4% of the solar energy quota.[this figure is erroneous, it should be 23.6%] Of course, it is a mere coincidence that the key shareholder happens to be the daughter of our recently retired Chief Secretary to the Government and newly appointed Petronas Chairman, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan.
Regardless of whether Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn or SEDA decides to proceed with the legal suit against me, they both owe an honest explanation to Malaysians as to how these companies were “successful” with their applications, while many other qualified companies were not even able to secure a single license.
13 November 2013:
I wish to clarify that:
In making and/or publishing the above, my statements therein were directed towards the implementation of Feed-in Tariff system implemented and administered by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (“SEDA”);
My intention in making those statements was to question SEDA on issues relating to the Feed-in Tariff application and approval process.
While I had in my statements directed questions and comments against Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek and her husband Todd Michael Morath (“Sun Energy Shareholders”) which may suggest that companies associated with them had obtained Feed-in Tariff approvals from SEDA by virtue of their relationship with Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek’s father, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan (“Tan Sri Sidek”) and/or some form of undue or preference treatment, I now confirm as follows:
Contrary to what may have been suggested, I do not know of any evidence that suggests any foul play involving and/or any undue or preferential treatment to, and/or favouritism to the Sun Energy Shareholders and/or companies associated with the Sun Energy Shareholders by SEDA in the award of any Feed-in Tariff approvals whether by virtue of their relationship with Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan or otherwise.
I also accept that I was mistaken and wrong in reporting that the Sun Energy Shareholders and business partners were awarded 32.4% of Feed-in Approvals of the total quota allocated to companies producing between 1MW to 5MW. In particular I recognize that:
(i) the persons mentioned by me as business partners of the Sun Energy Shareholders, namely Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun were merely incorporators of shelf companies and do not have any association or businesses with the Sun Energy Shareholders;
(ii) the Sun Energy Shareholders have no connection whatsoever with Semangat Sarjana Sdn Bhd, Kenari Pasifik Sdn Bhd Tiara Insight Sdn Bhd, Ambang Fiesta Sdn Bhd, Gaya Dunia Sdn Bhd and Rentak Raya Sdn Bhd; and
(iii) I did not state that the Sun Energy Shareholders’ ultimate and only business partner in respect of the Feed-in Approvals obtained was SunEdison, a global player in solar energy, which has significant experience and track record in solar power generation.
I did not contact the Sun Energy Shareholders, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan or Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun to verify or confirm my statements prior to or after making them.
I wish to repeat and re-emphasise that my statements were at all material times directed against SEDA on issues relating to the Feed-in Tariff application and approval process which I believe were made in the public interest in my capacity as a Member of Parliament, and clarify that I did not mean to disparage the character of or allege any wrong-doing by Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek, Todd Michael Morath and/or Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan.
For avoidance of doubt, I retract all insinuations of undue or preferential treatment, foul play and/or favouritism against Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek, Todd Michael Morath and/or Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan that may have been suggested in my statements.
In recognition of the above, I shall:
(i) qualify all my statements as published on the internet with reference to my clarifications herein which shall be appended as a note to the same; and
(ii) remove all comments made by visitors to my blog that concern Suzi Suliana binti Mohd Sidek, Todd Michael Morath and/or Tan Sri Mohd Sidek bin Hassan in relation to my statements.