In my debate speech on Motion of Thanks to TYT of Sarawak delivered on 9.5.2008, I talked at length on "Alienation of State Lands" in Sarawak to Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad and its subsidiaries without any open tender system. There were 260 acres in Kuching Division and 101 acres of lands in Samarahan Division alienated to Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad and its subsidiaries for the years 2001 until 2006. For lands in Kuching Division, one acre costs RM65,140.88 whereas for lands in Samarahan Division it costs RM38,771.26 per acre. Don't you think it is too cheap to be believed!!
When I spoke on the particular issue, though our YAB Chief Minister was not in the Dewan itself, I believe he listened tentatively in his office on the 1st floor of the Dewan.
The moment I said that Naim Cendera is closely related to our YAB Chief Minister, the Speaker immediately stopped me. How unfair as if our YAB Chief Minsiter is above all law and untouchable! Nevertheless, I continued with what I have to say without fear or favour. I was sent in to the State Assembly by the rakyat to raise the voices and grouses of the people. My job is not to sing praises on our YAB Chief Minister.
Below is the full text of my speech on “Alienation of State Lands”:-
My first issue is on alienation of State Lands.
Lands in Sarawak belong to all Sarawakian and not to certain companies which are politically linked to our state Barisan National leaders. Distribution of state resources including state lands should be transparent and more people orientated through public tender system rather than based on political favour or cronyisms.
However, we have seen that vast areas of state lands in Sarawak with high commercial value have been alienated to certain cronies companies without going through the process of open tender or public tender. It should be condemned if our state resources have been used by cronies companies to generate private profits. This will only drained money away from the state. Our people can never be rich if our state administration governance does not subscribe to transparency integrity, equal opportunity and social economic justice.
The general public view is that there are only few selected companies which enjoy the alienation of state lands for development at a very low price which is way under the market value. Amongst them, Naim Cendera is one stark example. The 32 acres of state land in Batu Lintang, Kuching which was government’s quarters area had also been alienated to Naim Cendera. And I was told that eviction letters had been issued to those staying in government quarters.
Do you know how much acreage of state lands in Sarawak have been alienated to Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and its subsidiaries for the years 2001 until 2006 without any open tender? From the general answer which I had obtained, in Kuching division alone, the land areas are 105 hectares or 260 acres and in Samarahan division, the land areas are 41 hectares or 101 acres, therefore the total acreage is 146 hectares or 361 acres. The total land premium involved for a total of 361 acres of land was only RM20,852,526.02 of which RM16,936,628.00 is the land premium for 260 acres of land in Kuching and RM3,915,898.02 is the land premium involved for land in Samarahan of 101 acres.
If we do a simple calculation, RM16,936,628.00 for about 260 acres of lands in Kuching, per acre costs about RM65,140.88 only. This is truly under price! As for lands in Samarahan, RM3,915,898.02 for about 101 acres of lands, per acre is only costs about RM38,771.26. Again, no doubt, extremely cheap deal for Naim Cendera. Therefore, it is less than RM70,000.00 per acre to get the lands in Kuching and RM40,000.00 per acre to get the lands in Samarahan from Sarawak state government. Can you find such cheap land deals in Kuching, less than RM70,000.00 for one acre of land in Kuching? It is way under price and just too cheap to believe! No one can find it but Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and its subsidiaries can get it from the state government through direct alienation. Does this include 32 acres of land in the centre of Kuching at Batu Lintang Area? We would like to know what is the premium Naim Cendera is paying given that it is a prime property in the city of Kuching. Whether Naim Cendera also got the same land deals in Batu Lintang at the price of RM70,000.00 per acre? Why are Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and its subsidiaries so special that they can get such special price for lands in Sarawak?
Most of us would know land deals in Kuching town area can easily fetch the price of at least RM1 million to RM2.5 million per acre. As you know, the market value for 0.04 acres of land in Kenyalang Park is already worth RM42,000.00 as valued by Land & Survey Department taking into consideration that it is a low-cost housing area. So, an acre land in Kenyalang Park is already valued at RM1.5 million per acre.
And here, we see that no one but Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and its subsidiaries could get land deal for ridiculously low price at RM70,000.00 per acre.
Let say one acre of land within 20 kilometre of Kuching area is valued at the conservative market price of RM500,000.00 and Naim Cendera has 260 acres of land in Kuching alienated by the State Government, so we are taking about RM130,000,000.00 (i.e. 260 acres multiply by RM500k) in value. But, Naim Cendera only pays RM16,936,628.00 for the alienation.
With these land deals, how could Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd not make tens of millions or even billions of ringgit and live up to its billing as the “Strong Man of Borneo”. Therefore, I believe many Sarawakians share the same views as I that, there is nothing to boost about or proud of the so called achievement of “Naim Cendera group”. Comparing RM130,000,000.00 to RM16,936,628.00, our state has lost out at least RM113,063,372.00 if the alienation of state lands was done through an open tender system where everyone can entitle a fair right to bid for the same. In other words, Naim Cendera groups has made at least RM113,063,372.00 in profit through alienation process. Remember, RM113,063,372.00 has not taken into account the profits made from development and through sales of any properties erected thereon. Imagine, this is only one transaction which we are talking about, needless to say about the amount of profits made by Naim Cendera Group through the hundreds of acres of state lands which had been alienated to them over the years.
By right, sales of lands or alienation of state lands should have been through open tender to realize the highest price so that there is greater generation of revenue to the state coffer. However, we have seen that our state government does not utilize our land resources to its fullest to realize the best income to our state. Remember, all the resources in the state belongs to each and every one of us Sarawakian and should not be exploited for the benefits of one or two companies that easily “cari makan senang” and which had “strong connection” with the state Barisan National leaders.
Therefore, I hereby urge our state government to be more transparent and accountable to its action by implementing open tender system so that all Sarawakian can truly enjoy the natural resources of the State through the revenue that is generated from open tender sale of state lands. If Sarawak State Government is the government for the people, of the people, and by the people, the state Barisan National leaders should have the conscious to use their best endeavors to make the state richer and its people richer, and should not only making the Barisan National political leaders’ crony companies richer. I believe Naim Cendera group is closely related to our YAB Chief Minister as the said group of company belongs to our Chief Minister’s cousins namely Abdul Hamed Bin Sepawi and Hasmi Bin Hasnan. Thus, as the head of the state, our YAB the Chief Minister owes a full explanation to the rakyat as to why Naim Cendera group can have the best treatment from the state which ordinary you and me will never ever be entitled a chance to share.