Who is behind Sarawak Plantation?


Sarawak Plantation Bhd, one of the major plantation players in Sarawak, has a reported landbank  of 52,071ha as of 31 December 2008.

Of this, 18,406ha is vacant land, which includes 10,786ha managed under the Native Customary Rights scheme (under which Sarawak Plantation holds a 60 per cent interest in the plots), according to a research house, as reported in The Edge Financial Daily. The native landowners hold 30 per cent stakes in these plots and the state, 10 per cent.

Who is behind Sarawak Plantation? Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s cousin Abdul Hamed Sepawi figures prominently.

According to The Edge again:

Its larger shareholders are Cermat Ceria Sdn Bhd, with a 30.35% stake, and the State Financial Secretary Sarawak with 25.44%. Group managing director Mohamad Bolhair Reduan holds 6.81% and Lembaga Tabung Haji 5.96%….

A check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia shows that Cermat Ceria’s largest shareholders are Tapak Beringin Sdn Bhd, which holds 46.2%, Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi (19.9%) and Hasmi Hasnan (19.7%). Tapak Beringin is owned by Abdul Hamed Sepawi and Hasmi.

Both Abdul Hamed Sepawi and Hasmi have close connections with the state, holding directorships in state-owned companies.

Hamed Sepawi is the chairman of Naim Holdings Bhd and Sarawak Energy Bhd while Hasmi is the managing director of Naim and chairman of Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd.

Bloomberg reports on Abdul Hamed’s extensive interests in Sarawak as follows:

In the past 8 years, he has been involved in activities relating to forest plantations in Australia and Sarawak. YBhg Datuk Bin Haji Sepawi has been Chairman of the Board of Sarawak Enterprise Corp. Bhd and Sarawak Energy Berhad since June 27, 2005. He has been the Non-Executive Chairman of Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and Naim Holdings Berhad since July 25, 2003. He has been the Non-Executive Chairman of Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. since October 12, 1995. He has been a Non-Independent Executive Director of TA Ann Holdings Berhad since October 2, 1999. He has been Director of Sarawak Enterprise Corp. Bhd since June 27, 2005. YBhg Datuk Bin Haji Sepawi serves as a Director of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd and Naim Cendera Sdn. Bhd. He served as Non-Independent Non-Executive Director at SARAWAK Plantation Bhd from August 30, 2005 to May 11, 2009. He is a member of the National Economic Consultative Council II…

He received his early education at St. Columbia’s School, Miri and Malay College, Kuala Kangsar. YBhg Datuk Bin Haji Sepawi graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (Hons) from University of Malaya in 1971, pursued undergraduate studies in forestry at the Australia Nation University from 1974 to 1975, and later obtained an MSc in Forest Products from Oregon State University, USA.

The Edge weekly reported on 13 September that Hamed was believed to be close to selling his entire stake in Sarawak Plantation.

At RM9,000 to RM15,000 per hectare, the firm’s 50,000-odd ha of land would fetch RM625 million, the weekly noted. That would mean Hamed’s 84.9 million shares could be worth a cool RM190 million, the paper estimated. “Whatever the price, given that crude palm oil has been trading close to RM2,700 per tonne recently and averaged RM2,400 in the last one year, Hamed should be getting a good price.”

Forbes ranks him as Malaysia’s 39th richest person in 2010 with an estimated net worth of US$120 million.

Not really surprising.

Incidentally, the full top 40 list makes for some interesting reading with some familiar names, cronies, and relatives of well-known personalities popping up. And it’s all muhibah up there in 1Malaysia while the rest of us remain divided along religious and ethnic lines.

  1. Robert Kuok
  2. Ananda Krishnan
  3. Lee Shin Cheng
  4. Lee Kim Hua
  5. Quek Leng Chan
  6. Teh Hong Piow
  7. Yeoh Tiong Lay
  8. Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary
  9. Vincent Tan
  10. Tiong Hiew King
  11. Azman Hashim
  12. Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian
  13. Yaw Teck Seng & Yaw Chee Ming
  14. Lim Wee Chai
  15. William H. J. Cheng
  16. Goh Peng Ooi
  17. Lim Kok Thay
  18. Jeffrey Cheah
  19. Anthony Fernandes
  20. G. Gnanalingam
  21. Kamarudin Meranun
  22. Chan Fong Ann
  23. Shahril & Shahriman Shamsuddin
  24. A.K. Nathan
  25. Chong Chook Yew
  26. Mokhzani Mahathir
  27. Ahmayuddin bin Ahmad
  28. Lau Cho Kun
  29. Chen Lip Keong
  30. Lee Swee Eng
  31. Liew Kee Sin
  32. Nazir Razak
  33. Eleena Azlan Shah
  34. Ong Leong Huat
  35. Rozali Ismail
  36. Kua Sian Kooi
  37. Lin Yun Ling
  38. David Law Tien Seng
  39. Abdul Hamed Sepawi
  40. Syed Mohd Yusof Tun Syed Nasir
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2 Oct 2010 8.42am

Taib Mahmud, the CM of Sarawak said that Chinese should just accept to be ‘discriminated’ because when those in special position became well to do they bring business to Chinese. He thinks that only Chinese could do business and not the bumiputras, and worse, all Chinese are businessmen. Not all Chinese are entrepreneurs, and so even if the well to do bumiputras bring business to the Chinese businessmen, the Chinese who are not in the business suffer and they are not compensated. Besides the same argument can be said about bumiputras entrepreneurs too who benefit from business brought to them… Read more »

19 Sep 2010 1.12pm


Why you do not push for the Penang bridge to be toll-free?

19 Sep 2010 2.00am

When Renong was laden with debt, the issued bonds to the tune of RM8b on PLUS future income and then sold the shares to Khazanah at no loss.

Now after paying off the loans, we hear Asas Serba (yes, of the same Halim Saad of Renong fame) coming into the picture to take the highways private again.

18 Sep 2010 3.44pm

The other Taib (i.e the ‘Aussie connection’ type) broke his silence. Is he making a comeback?


18 Sep 2010 11.27am

Anyone in power for so long will certainly breeds nepotism.

I have seen it in Semenanjung too, where son is bailed out by father using the political power.

18 Sep 2010 12.53pm
Reply to  Kutty

…where son is bailed out by father using the political power. And the son is still one of the richest in Malaysia! Totally irresponsible, worst-kind-of-example-father as … leader to the country, people and soil.

18 Sep 2010 3.32pm
Reply to  tunglang

Now the same guy is trying to protect Proton from takeover or merger.

18 Sep 2010 5.00pm
Reply to  Busu

Siapa investor bodoh nak beli?
Rugi betul-betul juga walaupun harga pasaran keretanya bebas cukai!
Siapa nak beli?

18 Sep 2010 7.41pm
Reply to  tunglang

Proton needs a partner that can provide a decent working power window.

17 Sep 2010 11.32pm

I hope pakatan will formulate a strategy to block these … from transfering their assets before the downfall. You did a good research job Anil and thank you very much.

Rakyat 1963
Rakyat 1963
18 Sep 2010 11.28am
Reply to  azalizain

Do not just hope, exercise your vote to make it happen!

17 Sep 2010 7.48pm

The native your very own BN leaders allowed this to happen. So sad harap pagar pagar makan padi. Change the leaders and get back what is yours.

Labu Labi
Labu Labi
17 Sep 2010 4.03pm

Traces of Pek Moh Taib in (nearly) every asset in Sarawak …