"Mangkang Menua,Mangkang Dunya,Ngetan Ke Bansa!!"

September 21, 2010

Solid Success – Bakun Delivers on Requirements

Bakun – mega-structures are ideal for siphoning off taxpayers money

News publications have been chewing over the figures as Bakun waits to be flooded and have come to some inevitable, long-predicted conclusions.

Firstly, the Dam has no genuine economic purpose.  Sarawak already has more electricity than its impoverished population can afford to use and the plans to send it to Malaysia by undersea cable was a fantasy by technology-illiterate ministers.

Secondly, the dam will actually make electricity more, not less expensive for ordinary Sarawakians, as existing power plants will be shut and Sarawak Hidro are desperate to claw back some of the RM 7.3 billion costs.

Thirdly, the public worker pension funds, which were arm-twisted by politicians into funding the dam to the tune of RM 5.75 billion, are now left facing an appalling loss.  This means either a whole generation of hard-working public servants (teachers, nurses, clerks, firemen etc.) will now lose their savings for old age, or the Malaysian taxpayer (the next generation of workers) will have to find the extra money to bail them out.

Pensioners’ loss is Taib family gain

plenty of cement and steel

Therefore the all-round conclusion has been that Bakun is a monstrous, multi-billion dollar disaster.  Southeast Asia’s  greatest ‘White Elephant’ foisted onto Malaysia by Sarawak’s ‘Chief Executive Officer’ Abdul Taib Mahmud.  Perhaps, it is speculated, at least tourists will come to visit such an appalling example of state planning gone spectacularly wrong?

However, these commentators are neglecting to point out that from the point of view of Mr Taib’s personal finances and those of the Taib family, the Bakun Dam has been a stunning success.

Much of the RM 5.75 billion siphoned out of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) by this project has gone gushing straight into the Taib bank accounts – and then presumably straight on out of the country to fund their private foreign investments.

CMS saved from bad business judgements by Bakun

Researchers have long since detailed how it was the decision to revive the Bakun Dam project, after it was shelved during the Asian Financial Crash, that rescued Cayha Mata Sarawak (CMS), the business the Taib family ‘privatised’ from the state into their own pockets, in the late 1990s.

By 1999, CMS, which had over-stretched on ambitious projects, was facing terrifying losses of RM 787 million.  The Chief Minister (whose late wife and two sons owned most of the shares of this ‘public’ company) was even more alarmed as the share price collapsed as a result.  The ‘CEO of Sarawak’ was facing personal bankruptsy, since most of his family company’s borrowings were based on the value of these CMS shares.

Environmental catastophy – an area the size of Singapore has been stripped bare for flooding

So it was the political decision by the Malaysian government to pour RM 1.6 billion of taxpayers’ money into Bakun (a sum which has since escalated to 7.5 billion and rising) that saved the Taibs’ from ruin (and kept BN in power in Sarawak).  Everyone knew that the Chief Minister would award his own company the lions share of the contracts for this glorious mega-project (CMS specialises in producing cement and steel) and that the company would go from strength to strength.

Endless profit to be made

The Chief Minister does not miss a trick when it comes to making money and Bakun has gone on to provide wonderful further opportunities for abuse of public trust.  Thus, his own company CMS has now gone on to further establish itself as the biggest private customer of the publicly owned venture that it built.

The company has done a deal with Rio Tinto Zinc (despite the horror of environmentalists) to build a vast aluminium smelter to soak up Bakun’s excess power.  This consortium is currently playing hardball with Sarawak Hidro, the Federal government body in charge of the dam, to get a preferential deal for electricity. This at a time when Taib is negotiating on behalf of the State of Sarawak to buy the project off the Federal Government.

This means clever Taib has set himself up as the biggest client of the state venture that, as Finance Minister and Chief Minister, he is going to be entrusted with managing of behalf of the interests of the taxpayer!  As far as conflict of interest goes that is about as big as it gets! Read more here

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: