The Sabah government owes the people of the state an explanation why a RM601 million loan was given by the Sabah Development Bank (SDB) to a Peninsular-based company to develop a luxury condominium project in Kuala Lumpur, said Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) president and former chief minister Yong Teck Lee today.
As reported in the business section of a national newspaper on Thursday, a property developer, Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd, has secured multi-million ringgit loan from SDB to finance their RM1.5 billion project in Kuala Lumpur’s Ampang area.
In a statement to Malaysiakini, Yong said the loan is certain to raise eyebrows as it is one of the biggest loans ever granted by SDB.
He described the loan sum as equivalent to the RM600 million in infrastructure grants allocated to the state of Sabah under the second economic stimulus package for the next two years.
Such a huge loan, if disbursed in Sabah, would have been a huge stimulus to the Sabah economy, he pointed out.
But instead, the Sabah government-owned bank has seen it fit to lend the money to a Kuala Lumpur-based firm as though Sabah has no need of any investment funds, the former chief minister said.
“The local business community knows that banks have been very tight in lending money these days because of the global financial crisis,” he said, yet SDB seems not to know or care.
He called on SDB to disclose whether such a huge loan outside Sabah has obtained the approval of the state government.
Loss of investor confidence
“The people of Sabah deserve to know whether SDB has departed from its primary role as the leading financial institution to promote the growth of the Sabah economy,” Yong said.
“Already, there is widespread concern over the untimely closure of the ceramic tile factory in Labuan this month caused by the hike in natural gas prices sold by the Sabah Energy Corporation (SEC) to a Sedco subsidiary, Guocera Tiles Industries (Labuan) Sdn Bhd,” he said.
In spite of the wide media coverage of the controversial closure of the Labuan tile plant, none of the state government ministers or officials have bothered to explain or show any concern over the matter, according to Yong.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 15 March 2009 20:44|