Remove NCA if no response arrives | Daily Express Online
Carbon trading was established in the Kyoto Protocol and improved in the Paris Agreement. Pollution control has come a long way as our earth needs protection from carbon emissions has been recognized globally. Countries are now required to set target compliance dates to achieve carbon neutrality. The two biggest polluting countries are the United States and China.
China is aggressively tackling its pollution problems by reforesting and re-greening on a large scale, converting to electric vehicles and reducing the use of coal for power generation.
Two types of carbon exchange, compulsory and voluntary. Only a few countries have established carbon emissions trading systems. Singapore and HK are the latest.
In summary, standards are being developed, the regulatory and legal framework is incomplete.
Trusted professionals and the code of conduct are rare or nonexistent. Only a few financial institutions are looking at this new form of business. More uncertainties than certainties. The most important thing for Sabah is to protect our interests given the immature status of the carbon trading market system. Sabah can be taken on a 100 year journey.
Precautions in the Nature Conservation Agreement – CAUTION, CAUTION, CAUTION.
My appeal to the government of Sabah is very simple, exercise the utmost caution and ensure that any deal on carbon trading will benefit present and future generations of Sabah.
Caution obliges us to undertake all or part of the following protocols:
Protocol 1. Can Sabah establish a carbon trading team?
I would say yes without hesitation for these valid reasons.
[a] The Sabah Foundation entered into carbon offset agreements with certain companies many years ago. SF was a trailblazer before anti-pollution advocates. We can develop our carbon trading system instead of entrusting it to 2 unknown companies [Tierra Australia, Hoch Standard of Singapore] to manage our green asset.
[b] I am sure Datuk Sam Manan, the former Chief Conservator of Sabah Forests, an internationally renowned conservation figure, can lead a team to establish the Sabah carbon trading business.
The current Chief Forestry Officer, Datuk Fred Kugan, is another Sabahan who is knowledgeable and can make a substantial contribution. Who is behind these two companies and what are their professional CVs in carbon conservation / trading compared to Sam and Kugan?
I am sure there are many Sabahans who can contribute as well. Sabah can quite easily form a team and if necessary we can bring in outside experts. We must first have confidence in our own people before turning to unknown / unproven foreign companies.
[c] Who can have a better position in the international carbon trading market, the official carbon trading team of Sabah or Hoch Standard?
Protocol 2. Tierra Australia and Hoch Standard credentials.
Both of these companies have been alleged to have residential addresses as a result of searches for companies in Australia and Singapore and lack trustworthy and qualified staff.
If these social media claims are wrong, these two companies must provide documented evidence accordingly. With the greatest respect and my apologies in advance if I am wrong, my requests to these 2 companies are:
[a] I ask these two companies to provide proven credentials to manage Sabah’s 2 million hectares [4.9 million acres] of green assets. In perspective, all of Sabah’s oil palm plantations occupy only 1.7 million hectares or 4.2 million acres.
[b] If Hoch Standard is already managing carbon trading for a few countries, I ask them to produce proof / expertise / system / financial records, transactions.
[c] NCA says Sabah will get RM3.2b [70pc]. Hoch Standard will get around RM1.2b [30pc]. I ask Hoch Standard to prove their ability to generate and manage this huge amount of money? I ask him to convince Sabahans to trust them with so much of our money. I ask him to justify this RM 3.2 billion trust which is almost as big as Sabah’s annual budget. With that kind of money, Sabah can get first class experts.
[d] I ask him to reveal who are really behind, in effective control.
[e] I’m asking for it to justify a 30pc share of the revenue. Is this an established standard? Typical fees for investment bankers like UBS, HSBC are 1pc, for large clients 0.5pc or even 0.25pc. I ask him to produce proof of his service / financial advice superior to that of international investment bankers.
[f] I ask Tierra Australia, as broker of this NCA, to prove that they are engaged in carbon trading brokerage.
Protocol 3. Can Hoch Standard deliver? What are the remedies of Sabah?
No 100pc guarantee of success in any business. In the event of default or negligence, can I ask Hoch Standard to produce proof of sufficient funds to pay Sabah? Hoch Standard has a paid-up capital of USD 1,000 in business research. Can I ask them to produce proof of a reliable financial situation? And to provide financial statements since its constitution?
Who in the government of Sabah will take responsibility for any default or negligence?
Protocol 4. Why has NCA kept a secret?
Can I ask for confirmation that this ACN is a high security document, so much so that it is kept secret?
What happens when carbon emissions are zero?
Most countries have set deadlines for achieving carbon neutrality, including ASEAN, China, US, UK and Europe. China could take the longest until 2060. All major countries have set target dates earlier than China.
The NCA’s tenure is 100 years, which is much longer than any global zero-emission deadlines. In response to the objectives set in the Paris Agreement, all advanced countries have already aggressively embarked on the fight against pollution, regreening and converting to green energy in hydrogen, wind, solar. The rapid development of safer mini nuclear reactors is remarkable. All of these developments point to a rapid reduction in demand for carbon credits as countries / industries reach zero emissions over the next 20 years. What will Hoch Standard do for us after 20 years, at most 30 years? I ask him to give his alternative plan that they can continue to procure RM 3.2 billion for Sabah.
What are the safe things to do with this NCA?
My greatest respect to Sabah’s AG, Datuk Nor Asiah for sending a letter to Dr Ho Choon Hou of Hoch Standard on December 1, 2021. This letter is available on social media. The content is self-explanatory and does not speak well of how the NCA schema has been formatted.
In view of the letter from our GA, I am very saddened that this NCA has been allowed to reach a stage where the agreement has been executed. In my humble opinion, the whole thing could have been managed a lot better if due diligence and common sense had prevailed.
As a sabahan, I beg the leaders of the sabah government to seriously consider repealing the nec whether or not Hoch Standard is unable to provide documentary evidence of their background, ability, ability, especially in terms of of trustworthy expertise and financial situation.