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NGO reports Sjotveit to MACC

 | September 6, 2012

MACC was today handed a dossier on how Sarawak Energy Board CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit's allegedly 'abused' his powers.

MIRI: A coalition of NGOs and concerned individuals here have lodged a formal report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against Sarawak Energy Board (SEB) chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit.

Save Rivers Network representatives also handed over documents and evidence detailing how Sjotveit allegedly abused his power by awarding contracts for projects belonging to SEB to the family members of his employer, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Sjotveit, who is a Norwegian, has been in SEB’s employment since November 2009. SEB is a state-owned government-linked-company under the state financial secretariat.

The state financial secretariat is an integral part of the Sarawak Ministry of Finance, which is directly under Taib.

Said Save Rivers chairman Peter Kallang: “The abuse of power and abnormal practice by Sjotveit is very obvious as shown by the facts that we have presented to MACC.

“This is clearly an abuse of power by Sjotveit in favour of his employer, the Chief Minister of Sarawak.

“We would like to ask the MACC to take immediate action by thoroughly investigating Sjotveit,” said Kallang.

In its statement today, Save Rivers noted that SEB is currently constructing the Murum Hydroelectric Dam to supply power to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy.

Part of the construction work for the project is the installation of power transmission line costing RM99 million. The contract for this power transmission line was awarded by SEB to Universal Cable Sdn Bhd.

Universal Cable is owned by Sarawak Cable Sdn Bhd. The dominant shareholder of Sarawak Cable is Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir. Mahmud owns 42% shares in the company.

‘Proof’ of Sjotveit’s bias

In 2010, SEB sold part of its manufacturing subsidiary, Sawarja Timur, to Sarawak Cable (in a mixture of cash and shares) at RM1.20 per share.

After paying RM16 million for the shares mentioned, profits made by Sarawak Cable increased by RM3 million the following year.

“This clearly shows that Sawarja Timur is a profit-making company,” said Save Rivers.

It noted that it was “clear proof” that Sjotveit had sold shares of a profitable company to his employer’s son.

“He also awarded the contract for the power transmission line to the son of his employer.

“This is clearly an abuse of power by Sjotveit in favour of his employer, the Chief Minister of Sarawak,” alleged Save Rivers.

It claimed that SEB has received capital from various banks including Kenanga Investment Bank and RHB Investment Bank.

Both banks are partly owned by the family of chief minister.

Kenanga Investment Bank is fully owned by K&N Kenanga Holding Bhd. The dominant shareholder of K&N Kenanga Holding is CMS Capital Sdn Bhd, with a total of 153,353,000 shares.

CMS Capital is almost fully owned by Cahaya Mata Sarawak Bhd with a total of 198,461,538 shares. Cahaya Mata Sarawak is 85% owned by the Taib family.

The five large shareholders of Cahaya Mata Sarawak are Taib’s two daughters – Jamilah Hamidah and Hanifah Hajar – his late wife Laila and their two sons Mahmud and Sulaiman Abdul Rahman.


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