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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PKR reveals cash-for-logging deal in Terengganu

PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli today revealed that there has been a systematic arrangement in Terengganu where logging companies were made to pay millions of ringgit to proxies in exchange for logging concessions from the state government.

NONE"If (Wanita Umno chief) Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (left) was not careful (in the National Feedlot Corporation scandal) by using her husband and children's name, (Terangganu Menteri Besar) Ahmad Said is a lot cleverer because the modus operandi is much more complicated," he told reporters in a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.

Rafizi said the modus operandi would see a logging company buy up shares in a shell company owned by proxies before mysteriously being granted a logging concession a few months later.

"Firstly, the logging company will buy shares in a dormant company owned by proxies at very high prices that is not reflective of its value. 

"A few months later, the logging company will suddenly gain a logging concession at selected areas in Terengganu," he said.
Rafizi suspects the proceeds received from the purchase of the shell company has been channeled to influential individuals who have the authority to grant the logging concessions.

RM2.5mil for RM2 company

Providing an example, Rafizi said a sawmill company had on Dec 28, 2011 forked out RM2.5 million to purchase a dormant company named Berkat Seribumi Sdn Bhd which only had a paid up share capital of RM2.

Almost seven months later on Jul 17, 2012, this same company was granted a logging concession in the Hulu Setiu Forest Reserve.

NONERafizi (right), who produced a letter of the concession approval, showed that it was 405 hectares (1,000 acres) large at compartment 54, 55, 56 and 57 of the forest reserve.

“This decision was approved by the state Forest Revenue Collection Board meeting which we believe was chaired by Ahmad Said,” he said.

However, Rafizi withheld the company’s name, adding that it would only be made public if they were willing to come forward.

Adding on, PAS’ Kuala Terengganu MP Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, who researched the matter, urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate.

“We have all the relevant documents and we are awaiting a response from Ahmad and the MACC.

“We are prepared to work with MACC to present our evidence and explain what happened,” he said.

He added that 12 companies were involved in the logging concessions for the Hulu Setiu Forest Reserve, and estimated the total payment involved may reach RM30 million.

Azman Syed said Pakatan Rakyat would reveal more information about the alleged syndicate after the Terenganu government responded on the matter.

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