* Note: Please refer to clarification statement below (13/11/13)
The Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia (SEDA Malaysia) is a statutory body formed under the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011. The key role of SEDA is to administer and manage the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FiT) mechanism which is mandated under the Renewable Energy Act 2011. The authority comes under the purview of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water.
The FiT is to encourage and develop the use of renewable energy in the country and is funded by the public via the consumer through a 1% increase in electricity rates for those consuming more than 300kWh. Under this mechanism, individuals and companies with factories and open land as well as companies in the renewable energy sector could apply to SEDA to become a Feed-in Approval Holder which then gives them the right to sell power generated from renewable energy sources to Tenaga Nasional Berhad.
For solar power generated with photovoltaic, approximately 80% of the quota set is awarded to companies to each produce 1MW up to 5MW of electricity per 6 months. The rest are awarded to individuals and small companies producing less than 500kW. The limit to each company is set to protect “the need for fair competition and transparency in the implementation of the feed-in tariff system” as stated in the Act.
The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water further adds that “in order to avoid any monopolisation of the Renewable Energy (RE) quota, SEDA Malaysia’s online system will track the RE installation/plant’s milestones via the submitted work plan”.
It also states that “no preferential treatment will be given to any FiT application. All FiT applications will be treated fairly and equally through a transparent application process”.
On the surface, no one particular company secured more than 10% of the quota allocation. Out of 32 companies awarded, the biggest recipients are Cypark Resources Bhd (9.2%) and Petronas Power Sdn Bhd (7.1%), and they are established players in the power industry.
However, upon closer scrutiny, 32.4% of the allocation has gone to 12 companies owned by Suzi Suliana bt Mohd Sidek and her husband, Todd Michael Morath, as well as 2 fellow shareholders*. Their ownership is hidden via a complex layer of holding companies and joint ventures.
Suzi Suliana who is also the daughter of Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the recently retired Chief Secretary to the Government, and newly appointed chairman of Petronas Bhd.
Suzi Suliana (99.999%) and Todd Morath (0.001%) together owns 100% of Sun Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, which then owns 98% of 3 companies – Hundred Tech Sdn Bhd, Indo Eagle Sdn Bhd and Sharp Crest Sdn Bhd, which holds 51% stakes in 9 companies which secured 32.6MW of the total quota allocated to companies given allocation between 1MW to 5MW.
According to SSM records, Suzi Suliana’s fellow shareholders of Diversified Harvest, Corporate Season and Silverstar Pavillion, Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun* then separately owns 100% of Semangat Sarjana Sdn Bhd, Kenari Pasik Sdn Bhd and Tiara Insight Sdn Bhd, which then owns 99.999% of 3 companies – Ambang Fiesta Sdn Bhd, Gaya Dunia Sdn Bhd and Rentak Raya Sdn Bhd – which secured 13.3MW of the solar power quota.
Together they control 45.9MW or 32.4% of the total quota allocated to companies producing 1MW to 5MW, much larger than established companies of Cypark and Petronas Power.
What is more shocking is the fact that all of these companies except for Sun Ventures (May 2010) and Uptown Sdn Bhd (September 2011), all the other companies involved were set up only in November 2011, or less than 1 month before applications for the permits were supposed to have been given out on the 2nd December 2011.
This only proves that none of these companies have any track record or experience with solar power generation, but they were still given the lion’s share of the lucrative solar power quota.
The award has also created a lot of disquiet and unhappiness in the renewable energy industry with many player claiming foul play and favouritism the in award of the quota. We call upon Tan Sri Fong Chan Onn, who is the Chairman of SEDA as well as Datuk Peter Chin, who is the Minister in-charge to explain the above award, which has raised doubts about the integrity and competency of the newly establish SEDA.
*Note: Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun has since sought to clarify that they are merely in the business of selling shelf company which were initially registered in their names, and are not related in anyway to the businesses set up by Suzi Suliana.
As of today, their names remains as shareholders of the above named companies, and we'll update accordingly as and when the "real" shareholders of the companies - Semangat Sarjana Sdn Bhd, Kenari Pasik Sdn Bhd and Tiara Insight Sdn Bhd - surfaces.
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.