Sabah set to scrap monopolistic iron deal

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 27 Dec 2008

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is set to withdraw the controversial decision appointing state-owned Superpanel Sdn Bhd as the sole exporter of scrap iron.

Senior state counsel Zaleha Rose Pandin informed the High Court here that the ministry was going to revoke the appointment, which was made on Aug 6 last year.

Zaleha told High Court Justice David Wong Dak Wah of the state Local Government and Housing Ministry’s decision on Tuesday following the Sabah Scrap Metals Recycle Association’s application for leave to file a judicial review of the ministry’s appointment.

Justice Wong ordered the case to be adjourned to Feb 12 for the ministry and Kota Kinabalu City Hall to produce a letter to that effect.

Superpanel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority, was appointed the sole exporter of scrap metals and recyclable materials to resolve the problem of metal theft.

A directive was then issued to all local authorities on Sept 26 that instructed them not to renew existing trading licences.

They were also told to issue new ones from Nov 1, whereby all scrap dealers were required to be registered with Superpanel before their applications were approved.

Scrap dealers were against the setting up of Superpanel, saying it was monopolistic and was likely to run them out of business.

They decided to seek judicial review on the state’s decision.

Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor could not be reached for comment.

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