By S Pathmawathy
Pakatan Rakyat claimed today that the daughter of the recently-retired chief secretary to the government, Mohd Sidek Hassan, has the “lion’s share” in the newly-introduced renewable alternative energy scheme.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua demanded that government explains why a large chunk of the allocation for solar energy via the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) mechanism went to companies without “a proven track record” in the energy field and owned by Mohd Sidek’s (right) daughter Suzi Suliana.
Pua said research showed that Suzi controlls 32.4 percent or 45.9 megawatt out of the quota set for solar energy through FiT, far above the limit of 1MW to 5MW for companies.
He noted that the information was derived from a search on the 12 companies owned by Suzi on the Companies Commission Malaysia (CCM) website.
FiT was introduced to spearhead the development of energy generation from renewable energy, such as biogas, biomass, small hydro plants and the sun.
It is funded by the public via the consumers through a one percent increase in electricity tariffs last year for those using more than 300kWh.
Under the programme, companies in the renewable energy sector are entitled to apply to the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) to become an FiT approval holder, which can then resell the generated power from renewable energy sources to Tenaga Nasional Bhd, as provided under Seda Act 2011.
The initiative is overseen by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, which promised to prevent “monopolisation” to any FiT applicant.
“No preferential treatment will be given to any FiT application. All FiT applications will be treated fairly and equally through a transparent application process,” said Pua, quoting a past statement from the ministry.
According to Pua, Suzi secured the contracts together with her husband and business partner Todd Michael Morath, but their ownership is hidden via a complex layer of “holding companies and joint-ventures”.
“Suzi and Morath together own 100 percent of Sun Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, which owns 98 percent of three companies – Hundrad Tech Sdn Bhd, Indo Eagle Sdn Bhd and Sharp Crest Sdn Bhd – which hold 51 percent stake in nine companies that secured 32.6MW of the total quota allocated to companies given allocations of between 1MW and 5MW.
“Suzi’s business partners and shareholders of Sharp Crest and Indo Eagle, Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun, separately own 100 percent of Semangat Sarjana Sdn Bhd, Kenari Pasik Sdn Bhd and Tiara Insight Sdn Bhd, which own 99.99 percent of three companies – Ambang Fiesta Sdn Bhd, Gaya Dunia Sdn Bhd and Rentak Raya Sdn Bhd – which secured 13.3MW of the solar power quota,” Pua said.
‘Companies set up only on Nov 11, 2011′
“What is more shocking is the fact that all of these companies except for Sun Ventures (May 2010) and Uptown Sdn Bhd (September 2011), were set up only on Nov 11, 2011 or less than one month before applications for the permits were supposed to have been given out on Dec 2,” Pua said.
At a press conference today, he added that these companies secured quotas far above those allocated for established power players such as Cypark Resources Bhd and Petronas Power Sdn Bhd, which received 9.2 percent and 7.1 percent respectively.
“It 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 power quota,” he said.
Pua urged Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin and Seda chairperson Fong Chan Onn to explain the FiT application process and to douse doubts on the “integrity and competency” of Seda.
“The award has also created a lot of disquiet and unhappiness in the renewable energy industry, with many players claiming foul play and favouritism in the award of the quota,” he added.
When contacted for clarification, Chin told Malaysiakini that he would check on the allegations with the relevant officials and issue a statement on the matter. – Mkini