Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sarawak's Cowgate: Probe MP's contracts, urges PKR

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Jacob Dungau Sagan, who hails from Sarawak, is alleged to have received RM63 million in contracts through his family's firms.

NONEPKR has called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate Sagan, who is Baram MP, for alleged "abuse of power and breach of trust" over timber concessions and "lucrative contracts".

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian made the call in response to allegations by Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) that Sagan is the beneficiary of companies held in his proxy by his wife and family members.

One company, Dema Tega Sdn Bhd - owned by his wife Winnie Jolly, his brother Peter Usang Sagan and his sister-in-law Roseline Andrew Gayu - had received government contracts worth more than RM63 million over the past five years, BMF said.

The NGO in a statement yesterday claimed that public contracts were the main source of revenue for the company, which has a share capital of RM750,100.

baram residents demoIt said more than half of the contracts were connected to a rural water supply system funded by the federal government and commissioned by the Sarawak Public Works Department.

Additionally, whistleblower website Sarawak Report revealed last week that two other companies held by Sagan's wife and his daughter Sharon Sagan - Milisha Holdings Sdn Bhd and Winjac Sdn Bhd - had received licences from the Sarawak government to harvest Belian timber.

Belian is an endangered tropical hardwood that has been classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a vulnerable species and its export from Sarawak and Indonesia is banned.

Conflict of interest

BMF, which has been actively campaigning against the Baram dam in Sagan's constituency, has warned that the dam will drown out 26 villages and displace 20,000 Orang Asli.
It also accused the deputy minister of being a "staunch supporter" of the dam because of the said contracts and concessions.

NONEBorn in Long Anap on the banks of the Baram River, Sagan has been criticised for allowing the dam to proceed.

Bian (right) slammed Sagan for conflict of interest, saying: "He has lost all legitimacy to continue as a member of parliament representing the people of Baram."

"The price of wealth is high, and for him, the cost will be his self-respect and the respect of his constituency, and indeed, of the people of Malaysia.

"He should (unlike minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil) resign from his position if he has any shred of honour left in him in the light of these revelations," added the Ba'kelalan assemblyperson.

~ Malaysiakini

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