By Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Kota Kinabalu, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 - The guarantee that no Chief Minister can sign away huge tracts of lands, forests and mines to private interests have been put in place on 17 June 1996 when the Sabah Legislative Assembly transferred the Chief Minister's powers to the Cabinet by amending the Sabah Land Ordinance, the Forest Enactment and the Mining Ordinance.
I was the Chief Minister to move the motion to amend the laws which was passed by the Legislative Assembly.
This Chief Minister's powers have since been transferred to the Cabinet. This was done three weeks after I was appointed as Chief Minister in view of the massive abuse of powers by previous chief ministers like the award of the 347 acres of sea front land to a company registered in the British Virgin Island which allowed secret shareholders. The land, now known as Sutera Harbour, was applied for in 1993 and land title was issued in super speed in the same year. The premium paid was about seven million ringgit. The same lands were then charged to a bank for more than 40 million US dollars.
All these were done towards the closing days of the PBS administration. Another piece of the sea, opposite the first beach near Shangri La Tanjong Aru Resort, was approved by the 1993 Chief Minister was to a KL company. Even the Maliau Basin, now a protected Heritage site, was approved for coal mine exploration permit to an Australian company. All these were never known to the Cabinet at the time. Hence, the need to transfer the powers to the Cabinet so that a future Chief Minister, including myself, was not able to abuse his powers over land, forests and mining.
Govt quarters land signed off before Yong became CM
Another approval of land for joint venture before the 17 June 1996 amendments to the law was the so-called government quarters land at second beach and third beach. This agreement was signed a few weeks before I became Chief Minister, in the closing days of the Chief Ministership of Datuk Salleh Tun Said as Chief Minister. But PBS and DAP characters collude to defame me and tell lies that the project was approved by me. PBS and DAP want to protect UMNO leaders and want to kill me politically. In return, both PBS and DAP have been rewarded.
No approval of project or to any private company
On the question of the so-called sea front lands that Hiew King Cheu has accused me of, there was never any approval of the project or to any private company. Any company may submit proposals and any person may sue. The fact that the government has won the case shows that the facts speak for themselves.
Collusion going on
DAP ex-Sabah chairman,Hiew King Chiew should stop being used by the UMNO Chief Minister to serve the UMNO's interests. As proven in the Batu Sapi by-election, Hiew and DAP had colluded with UMNO to attack only the SAPP and not to criticise the UMNO, especially the Sabah UMNO Chief Minister. This UMNO-DAP Hiew collusion is still going on.
Like in the recent 3-day SAPP flag raising to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of SAPP leaving the BN, Hiew got his side kick, Edward Mujie, to complain about the flags. Not even the DBKK or any other BN or UMNO leader had wanted to look foolish by complaining about the flags because of the fiasco over the July 11 DBKK/BOMBA attempt to remove the Sabahtv.net signboard. But UMNO got Hiew and Edward to do the dirty work for them. On the July 11 Sabahtv.net signboard case, Hiew and Edward Mujie again became the spokesmen for UMNO and DBKK by criticising SAPP on the issue.
SAS case kept under wraps
Like in the case of the Saham Amanah Sabah case, UMNO never dared to say anything because they know that the people involved are their own UMNO people. When pressed for an answer, the Chief Minister only brushed aside the SAS issue as "petty" and refused to publish a white paper to release the information on SAS and its dealings and who the real culprits are. After repeated delaying tactics by the BN Cabinet cowards, SAPP's assemblypersons, Datuk Liew Teck Chan and Melanie Chia, finally managed to debate on the SAS White Paper motion last August 2010. But in the Assembly, UMNO got the PBS puppets like Yee Moh Chai, Herbert Timbun Lagadan and turncoat Raymond Tan to speak for UMNO. It is most revealing that the Chief Minister and Finance Minister and all the UMNO YBs kept silent, in the same way that UMNO has been silent on the phantom voters issue, the illegals and fake ICs.
But UMNO has nothing to fear because they have the PBS cohorts to do their dirty work and divert the attack to SAPP, especially me, on the SAS issue. It is the same with the issue of phantom voters and illegal immigrants, when PBS was in the opposition, they kept attacking SAPP and particularly me but not touched UMNO. Does PBS honestly think that UMNO people are not involved? Now PBS has not only become completely deaf and dumb on the illegals issue, it is even answering on behalf of UMNO. Such is the control of the UMNO Chief Minister over PBS and Sabah DAP.
On land grabs
For instance, Sabah DAP never raised the crisis of land grabs, especially those linked to the Sabah Chief Minister. Everybody knows that Hiew's company business is involved in the ongoing KK Seafront project. That is why, when people complained about the KK Sea front project, Hiew went to the site and declared that the sea front project was "earth filling" of the sea and not "reclamation", as though there is a difference between earth filling and reclamation of the sea. No wonder people ask me how Hiew had got his Phd.D.
Hiew King Chiew is the one and only person who has volunteered his views that the Karamunsing Complex is safe and stable. Never mind that was even before the DBKK or JKR has been asked to look into matter. This has made people to think the Hiew has a hidden agenda. So, Hiew should stop being used by the UMNO Chief Minister. Everybody knows that the so-called sea front projects signed by MLGH Sdn. Bhd. are linked to UMNO, some of whom are still very active in BN today. All the names of the UMNO-linked personalities were mentioned in the trial. Hiew should not be misled by his UMNO handlers about the "CM Incorporated" shares as though there is something mischievous. In fact, most, if not all, government company shares are held in the name of "CM Incorporated" or "Ministry of Finance Incorporated" as a matter of legal requirement. The on-going sea front projects in KK which will block the sea view of Promenade and Marina apartments are also UMNO-linked.
SAPP leaders and myself will not stop in raising the issues of land grabs by the Chief Minister and his cronies. I have repeatedly pointed out that a land grab company in Sukau has its directors registered addresses as the Chief Minister's official residence known as "Sri Libaran" at Mile 7, Jalan Airport, Kampong Sungei Kayu, Sandakan. The genuine land owners were jailed for two weeks in Sandakan. In recent days, police harassment has intensified against the remaining villagers, who are native Orang Sungei, so that the company can take over the 400 plus acres of oil palm trees and fruits that have been planted for more than 25 years.The 50-odd families have toiled for years using their own hands, tools and fertiliser but now a big company wants to evict the genuine villagers and pluck the fruits of the poor villagers' labour. This is inhumanly cruel and will continue to be exposed. Land grabs in Kota Belud, TawauSerudong, Sandakan, Banggi, Papar, Keningau and eviction of villagers from forest reserves have reached a critical point that countless villagers have become refugees in their own country.
Yong Teck Lee, Chief Minister 28 May 1996 to 27 May 1998 ... (in commenting on Hiew King Chiew that there is no guarantee that a future CM will not approve sea front lands to private interests)