1MDB, China eye RM37b Sarawak projects


While we are rattled by the Allah controversy and the spate of attacks on places of worship, others are eyeing big bucks – in Sarawak.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), one of the world’s largest utility firms, and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have signed an agreement to enter into joint venture negotiations to undertake projects reportedly worth up to RM37 billion (US$11 billion).

The agreement reportedly involves the construction of three hydroelectric dams and a smelter plant in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) – and that’s just for starters. What are they going to do with all that electricity? Feed it to power-guzzling smelters, it would seem – and perhaps transmit the rest to the peninsula? What kind of impact will that have on local indigenous people, their land and the environment, especially Sarawak’s rainforests (what’s left of them) and the biodiversity? Don’t ask.

Among those witnessing the signing of the agreement between the two parties on 11 January was PM Najib, who is the chair of 1MDB’s Board of Advisors, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and SGCC President Liu Zhenya.

1MDB is a “strategic development company” owned by the Malaysian government. The firm started life as the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which was set up to manage Terengganu’s RM1 billion annual revenue from oil royalties under what would be the country’s second sovereign wealth fund. TIA was established with the approval of the federal and state governments in March 2009, around the time Najib was set to take over as PM.

One of the key figures who advised the King (who comes from Terengganu) to establish the TIA is a now familiar figure, Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, reported the Edge on 14 December 2009. (Low was reportedly described as being part of Najib’s inner circle and having close ties with Middle East investment funds. He is also group advisor/non-independent non-executive director of UBG Bhd, whose chairman is Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, son of Taib Mahmud. UBG has acquired a couple of CMS companies.)

The original idea behind TIA was to create a sovereign wealth fund with RM5 billion from the federal government and another RM6 billion to come from Terengganu’s securitised future oil royalties receivable from Petronas.

After reported problems over who should control the fund, TIA was turned into a federal entity, 1MDB.

1MDB raised RM5 billion by issuing 30-year government-guaranteed bonds with a coupon rate of 5.75 per cent, in a deal arranged by AmInvestment Bank. Questions were raised about who the investors were, how it was sold in the secondary market, and the sell-down spread compared to the Malaysian government securities’ benchmark. 1MDB responded that it acted on professional terms to secure the most competitive terms possible.

1MDB is managed by a 33-strong team helmed by Shahrol Halmi, previously of Accenture Malaysia. The firm has so far invested US$1 billion in a US$2.5 billion joint venture partnership with Petro-Saudi International Limited. This is supposed to “spearhead the flow of foreign direct investments from the Middle East as well as make strategic investments in high-impact projects here”.

Question: If – and that is a big if – Sarawak falls to the Pakatan in the coming state election, will Pakatan be bound by this cooperation agreement in Sarawak? What is Pakatan’s stand on this?

By the way, does anyone know what happened to ValueCap?

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Gerakan K .. nothing to add. ha Anyway, just got back from Sarawak. INto the interiors of Baram. The deforestration there is massive. And, the usage of INdonesian cheap labour with makeshift camp reminds me of Africa. Canvas protection and sleep on an elevated platform of 3 pieces of wood. This time, i have detected more Indonesians than previously. The deal with China is a sell out of our resources. Already, the Shin Yang et all are having quite a fre reign there. With the Chinese, it will only get more .. ehm… uncontrolabble. The 2 villages i visited are… Read more »


We shouldn’t blame China for dumping toxic waste.

It is that White Hair that welcome China to dump as much toxic waste as they want in Sarawak.

Want to blame? Blame that White Hair…

Ong eu Soon

1MDB is just a vehicle to (squander) our money on the name of DEVELOPMENT. It will be worst than what Mahathir did to us. For 22 years Mahathir may has squandered RM100billion from us, this 1MDB on this “small project” alone will cost us RM37 billion. Where is all the opposition? Where is Anwar? LGE? LKS? This is … broad daylight … and no one is doing anything about it!


One of your better point. THIS is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Smelter plant and hydro plants? The whole energy corridor thing was always a mediocre idea. If PR take over, they will have to be very least a roadblock to these projects.

Gerakan K


I saw your standard already. No comment for the disgusted thing or the thing your idol likes to do.


I too feel that PR has absolutely no chance to govern Sarawak. But you better prepare to face condemnation from these PR cheerleaders. They don’t like listening to truth.


Gerakan K,

Unfair not to comment ok?

I am just seeking your expert opinions. You had always been impartial, do you mean to say you are bias with your comments? I have no idol and if at all I have any, I am sure we share the same.

Thanks bro, awaiting your comment.



Gerakan K,

Please read the comment of Ong Eu Soon, a critic of LGE like you. Listen to his expert advise on this matter.

Cheers bro.

telur dua

……….call his name soon.

This is really funny, like marking attendance in school. LOL!…

Yes, we all go to that big school in the sky therefore (people) shouldn’t be looting all that money. We don’t need no money up there. No?

Gerakan K

Jealousy is the key reason for the comments here. Stop spinning and just admit that this time our BN government has done the great job that securing huge project that suited for Sarawak natural strength. This join venture essentially Malaysia and China work. To suggest anything like alibaba company is outright stupid. Another stupid idea including the “rampas” thing. Malaysia and China working together to “rampas” land ??? You better go to write some Hollywood movie script.


Gerakan K, Hallo bro, Still waiting for your explanation. Care to please explain on your stand re my query above? China honestly is trying to get rid of all those toxic waste. I do not know whether you still remember, what happened in Bukit Merah, Menglembu, Ipoh, Perak in the late 70’s or early 80’s? Remember the Japanese company, who dumped toxic waste there? Remember what happened to the residents? The residents borned during that era are still living with all sorts of deformities. You can still visit Bukit Merah in Ipoh and see for yourself, the damage done. Those… Read more »

telur dua

Beggars can’t be choosers.Because of the money, we are welcoming investments that do damage to the environment and pollutes the country….

The white haired … couldn’t care less. He is not the one breathing in the soot and carbon monoxide. He knows Allah will call his name soon.


I read that soon after the signing of the MOU, Sarawak declared coal as renewable energy. This is the only place in the world to do this.

I think iron is spot on. Now China can use “renewable” energy in Sarawak for environmentally unfriendly industries.


Gerakan K! Get your facts right! China is dumping all the toxic waste in Sarawak! This is NOT INVESTMENT!
“Sarawak government to classify the exploitation and mining of 1.156 billion tonnes of coal reserves as part of its “renewable energy” projects”

This is the kind of industry they want to get rid off from China. When did Coal mining and coal fired furnaces become Renewable Energy??

Gerakan K

Please read this article again:
The agreement reportedly involves the construction of three hydroelectric dams…

I don’t understand your statement:
China is dumping all the toxic waste in Sarawak

Can you elaborate more?


Gerakan K,

For your further understandings




I think the comment by iron is probably right. China do not have sufficient energy and Sarawak is right in the backyard. Moving high energy consumption industries out do make sense. Sarawak can provide the carbon credit as well. That is if it does not cut down all the trees.

Come to think of it, why dont Sarawak plant more trees and then sell the carbon credit to China. No need for the industries. It is best of both world.


I think the comparison with 1MDB is on the same boat as Terengganu’s infamous investment fund.

Someone’s having a party with our money!


I am familiar with what is happening in China. I will tell you this — China is actively outsourcing many of its pollution-making and energy-intensive industries to other parts of the world. By moving the aluminium smelting operation out of China, China hopes to lessen the load on its already over-loaded electricity grid. It will be Sarawak that has to dealt with all the toxic waste products from aluminium smelting from now on. Congratulation, the people of Sarawak! And, oh, btw, many more land from the indigenous people (Dusun, Kadasan, Iban) will be rampas by that white hair, since they… Read more »


Hi Iron, there is no indigenous group in Sarawak called (Dusun, Kadasan) but Iban, yes. I agree with you China is not only under pressure from the west to reduce it carbon emission – but also from inside China itself. So when they heard of opportunities available in Sarawak, China never think twice. They grabbed it. On T – this fella knew he could get fund from Aussie, Middle East – therefore was also more than happy to accept China. Do we call that ‘win win situation’ – T needs China $$ China needs a place to destroy. We the… Read more »

2+ 2 is 5

Simply put, Petronas has dwindled in its cash surplus and cannot afford to finance such mega projects any further. Incidentally the double rail project is also financed by China with a token share from our shores. We will be paying China its so called investment loans interests for decades to come. Well managed.

Obviously the white haired … of Sarawak would have a vested interest in all these mega billion projects. Why do you think his off spring has left the scene, if not to oversee the assets of the empire(?)


” -a joint-venture firm to undertake projects worth up to US$11 billion. ” An Alibaba company? or a siphon company?


Mr. Anil, am I correct to say that this is a JV between SGCC and 1MDB to jointly develop projects worth up to USD11 billion in Malaysia over a period of time and not an investment of USD11 billion by SGCC? So, the initial investments coming in immediately is not USD11 billion. Upon completion of developing all the projects, the total cost will sum up to USD11 billion? I am confused and would appreciate your explanation. If I am correct, then the initial investment capital layout will not be USD11 billion, it can be any amount, agreed by both parties,… Read more »


Mr. Anil, thank you for your views.

Gerakan K

Keep on good work and continue to promote Malaysia as the better investment destination.


Gerakan K, Please understand the whole article, ok? Do not quote out of context, naughty. Proof? Better investment destination? Bro, where is the proof? You had been running away from proving what you commented on the last few comments of yours. Can we have proofs from you please? For your easy reference, we produce again the questions that we had posted to you without your reply from your many postings. 1) During the act of sodomy, penetration has got to take place. When a qualified doctor from a respectable hospital, confirmed after observation, there was no penetration and the accused’s… Read more »


Gerakan K,

I read somewhere this very short, crisp and concise message regarding the church attacks, which I wish to share with you.

” How the Malaysian leaders settle these matters will determine their political and economic futures”.

Very subtle, but an opinion which can also be construed as a discreet warning. Don’t play play la, things does not look to rosy for the Juara Rakyat in the international arena. They are made to look so small.

What say you, bro?