PETALING JAYA: A highly-connected group of lobbyists used “every trick in the book” to secure a risk-free solar power contract 2.5 times over the limit for open bidding, according to former energy minister Yeo Bee Yin.
Yeo Bee Yin. They represented independent power producers with “very high cables” who demanded a direct award for a 250-megawatt large-scale solar project, she writes in her memoir, The Unfinished Business.
“It irked me to have to put on a polite front with people who expected the government to hand them a cash cow instead of putting in an honest day’s work like everyone else,” she said.
Extracts of her book, which will soon be published, were made available to FMT. -ADVERTISEMENT-
In a chapter on power sector reforms, Yeo said the solar projects were part of the energy ministry’s plans to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2025.
“We also set a policy that each company can only bid for 100MW in each round to make the bidding a stepping stone for more local players to grow,” she writes.
“This group demanded a direct award for a project 2.5 times larger than the maximum capacity set for open bidding.”
She said the group refused to be part of an arrangement where companies would build power plants at their own risk and bid to offer power supplies to the national grid at the lowest price at a particular time.
A chapter from Yeo Bee Yin’s memoirs The Unfinished Business. “Of course, this group adamantly declined to do so. In short, this group wanted a risk-free solar IPP award. They tried every trick in the book to get me to give in, but I just could not bring myself to do it,” she writes in the book.
She said her rejection of the demand for direct contracts led to them painting an anti-business image of herself to their patron.
She said the lobbyist group turned down subsequent offers of other means to take part in the renewable energy plan.
Yeo said she tried to “rack her brains” to come up with polite ways to reject the lobbyists.
She noted that the effect of “big cable” lobbying was much less severe when Pakatan Harapan was in government compared to the Barisan Nasional and current Perikatan Nasional governments.
“Looking back now, I am glad that my team and I did our best to protect the people’s welfare from such suckers of blood,” she wrote.
This book is the result of the author's many years of experience and observation throughout his 26 years in the stockbroking industry. It was written for general public to learn to invest based on facts and not on fantasies or hearsay....