Malaysia

Sidek’s daughter got ‘lion’s share’ of solar power deal, Pakatan MPs say

Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan retired as the Chief Secretary to the Government last month and was immediately named as Petronas chairman. — Reuters picTan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan retired as the Chief Secretary to the Government last month and was immediately named as Petronas chairman. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Malaysia’s renewable energy authority must explain the award of nearly one-third of a lucrative feed-in tariff (FiT) solar-power contract to the daughter of Petronas’ new chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan despite her inexperience in the industry, two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers demanded today.

The DAP’s Tony Pua and his PKR ally Nurul Izzah Anwar highlighted records they said showed Suzi Suliana Mohd Sidek and her business partners were handed the “lion’s share” of the limited contract introduced last year to enable homeowners and industry players to feed electricity produced by solar panels onto the national power grid.

They noted that both Suzi Suliana and her husband, Todd Morath, held a controlling stake in 12 out of a total of 32 companies that had won the contracts amounting to 32.4 per cent of the energy quota fixed for between 1MW (megawatt) and 5MW, based on a search of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) website.

“On the surface, no one particular company secured more than 10 per cent of the quota allocation,” Pua and Nurul Izzah said in their joint media statement.

But both pointed out that Suzi Suliana and Morath fully owned Sun Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, which held a 98 per cent stake in three other companies the two MPs said had got the FiT award as well. The three are Hundred Tech Sdn Bhd, Indo Eagle Sdn Bhd and Sharp Crest Sdn Bhd.

Based on records, Sharp Crest holds a 51 per cent control in nine companies awarded 32.6MW of the total quota allocated to companies of between 1MW and 5MW, the two MPs added.

They pointed out that Suzi Suliana had gained, whether directly or indirectly from the FiT scheme, as her business partners — Lim Boon Huay and Yap Kian Mun — were also shareholders of Sharp Crest and Indo Eagle.

Each owned major stakes in Semangat Sarjana Sdn Bhd, Kenari Pasik Sdn Bhd and Tiara Insight Sdn Bhd, which controls Ambang Fiesta Sdn Bhd, Gaya Dunia Sdn Bhd and Rentak Raya Sdn Bhd that is contracted to supply 13.3MW worth of electricity.

“Together, they control 45.9MW or 32.4 per cent of the total quota allocated to companies producing 1MW to 5MW, much larger than established companies of Cypark and Petronas Power,” the MPs told reporters.

“This only proves that none of these companies has any track record or experience with solar-power generation, but they were still given the lion’s share of the lucrative solar-power quota,” they said.

They urged Tan Sri Fong Chan Onn, who chairs the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), and Energy, Water and Green Technology Minister Datuk Peter Chin, to explain the award and lay to rest allegations of foul play and favouritism among industry players.

Sidek retired as the Chief Secretary to the Government last month and was immediately named as Petronas chairman.

Malaysia aims to have over 3,000MW of green energy on the national grid by 2020 and the federal government had introduced a new policy last December to develop more independent power producers (IPPs), including households, to provide it.

This is not the first time the federal opposition pact has questioned SEDA’s FiT quota mechanism to encourage long-term use of cleaner energy.

Last February, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the system limiting energy producers to RM300 million on a first-come-first-served basis to each of the four renewable energy sources was not very efficient.

He pointed out that SEDA had invited the public, including households, and small-time IPPs who contributed up to 30 MW, although it was limited to 5MW in solar PVs, to apply and book the amount of renewable energy intended for the national grid and suggested Malaysia learn from Germany.

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