On 4 December 2009, Sime Darby Bhd, through its plantation arm, Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, bought the entire issued and paid-up capital (50,000 shares of RM1 each) of an obscure new company, Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd, for RM16.8 million.
What makes Nature Ambience, which was incorporated only a year ago (on 12 December 2008), so special? Although it will become an oil palm plantation firm, a company search reveals its nature of business to be “general trading”.
On 2 October 2009, the Ministry of Land Development, Sarawak granted Nature Ambience approval to be the investor/developer for 26,211ha of Native Customary Rights land in Kapit and Julau, Sarawak. This was reportedly in line with the Sarawak state government’s “new concept of development on NCR land”. The Ministry is headed by James Masing, who is also the state assembly member for Balleh, one of the constituencies in Kapit.
With its purchase of Nature Ambience, Sime Darby will now be allowed to develop oil palm plantations in the Sarawak NCR development scheme.