Archive for November 24th, 2008

Oil Palm industry crisis – urgent remedial measures needed

The Federal, Sabah and Sarawak state governments should immediately implement urgent and effective measures to help oil palm smallholders and industry hard hit by the two-thirds plunge in palm oil prices since March.

The price of crude palm oil (CPO) fell two-thirds from a March high of RM4,486 per tonne to current levels of about RM1,455 per tonne, creating a grave crisis for the oil palm industry.

On the one hand, oil palm fruits are being left to rot as mills are refusing to buy the fruits because of palm oil’s plunging price.

On the other hand, exporters are in a quandary as the global financial crisis and the plunge in CPO prices have led to many importers to default on their contracts as well as making it difficult for foreign importers to obtain letters of credit (LCs).

This is because prices of CPO quoted in contracts or LCs were much higher than the current market price of the commodity, making foreign banks in importing countries more cautious about extending credit facilities. Read the rest of this entry »


“ISA? Yes we can!”






RM50 million Pempena scandals – another 3 questions for Azalina

Yesterday, I posed three questions on the RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies scandals for the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to answer in Parliament this week during the 2008 Budget committee stage debate on her Ministry since the non-functioning Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun has clamped up and refused to accept accountability.

Today, I am posing another three questions, giving her adequate notice to prepare for a full and adequate accounting in Parliament to show that as Minister for Tourism, she is fully aware of her responsibilities to live up to the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance although there are “Little Napoleons” in the Pempena Group of Companies who behave as if public funds are their private property which they need not account to anyone.

These additional three questions are:

Question No. 4 – Did she as Tourism Minister receive a request dated 15th October 2008 made jointly by the Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun and the Pempena Chief Executive Officer Datuk Idrus Mohd for a RM5 million injection to keep Pempena afloat, although Chew had publicly denied that there was any such application. What is the Tourism Ministry’s position on the latest appeal by Pampena for an annual RM5 million life-line capital injection for the next two years to ensure Pempena’s continuous viability? Read the rest of this entry »