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Friday, December 4, 2009

PKR may take SESB and Felda to court

PKR may take SESB and Felda to court

Published on: Friday, December 04, 2009

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Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah is thinking of going to the courts to stop the construction of the proposed coal-fired power plant in Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu.

It is considering initiating legal action, firstly against Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), in support of the green non-governmental organisations' effort to stop the building of the plant.

Its Supreme Council member, Haji Ansari Abdullah, said the party's Sabah legal bureau which is chaired by Datuk Chau Chin Tang and of which he is also member, will hold a meeting to discuss this sometime next week.

"The meeting is for us to consider bringing up a suit against the SESB as well as the State and Federal governments, Felda particularly," he told a press conference at his office here Thursday.

Ansari said the party cannot sue but would identify people who are prepared to come forward.

"We are going to consider this step, as part of our contribution to the effort to stop Sabah turning from 'green to black' because of the plan (coal-fired power plant) É at the moment our first intention would be on the SESB and Felda, and followed by others later," he said.

Ansari said one of the things they would highlight is the agreement between the State Government and Felda sealed on Dec 4, 1979, He claimed what is happening now is "against the letter and spirit of this agreement."

Showing a copy of the agreement signed by then Chief Minister Datuk Harris Salleh, he said if they followed what had been agreed to the State government about 13,000 Sabahan families would have been saved from poverty now.

"But it did not happen as agreed and because today is the 30th anniversary of this agreement, we will treat this suit matter as a 'birthday gift' to Felda," he said.

Ansari explained that on that said date of the agreement some 200,000 hectares were given to Felda for them to develop a settlers scheme for the benefit of at least 13,000 Sabahan families (assuming each family receives 15 acres).

"But now after 30 years Felda turned it into a commercial plantation É and further than that they now also want to build a power plant there, which is actually not the reason the land was given to them," he said.

"So we have a moral duty (to do something about this) É as a political party we are morally obliged to ensure that the State that we hand over to our children will be something similar to what we inherited from our forefathers É nobody has the right to destroy what we have been blessed with in Sabah," he added, claiming Felda Sahabat is now like another state within a state guarded by its very own policemen.

Should the plant be built, he said, it would destroy the image of Sabah as a green and beautiful state which is already well known worldwide apart from its many potentials.

Meanwhile, Ansari said he has filed a writ against Sohon Singh, Joe Fernandez and Steven Gan, who is editor-in-chief of news portal Malaysiakini over a news article published in the Malaysiakini news website on him titled "Sabah PKR Division Chief Runs to China from Debt".

"This because there was no apology forthcoming from them," he said. The writ was filed at the High Court here Thursday.

Source: Daily Express

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