Kelantan MB urges investors to lodge reports

KOTA BARU: Kelantan has called on those who invested in the state’s forest carbon trading project to lodge police reports after Bank Negara issued a consumer alert against the two companies involved.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said there were claims over social media that the state government was illegally collecting money to implement carbon trading initiatives.

“We reiterate that the state government has neither ordered nor asked Climate Protectors Sdn Bhd or any other company to collect money to implement the carbon trading programme,” he said.

Ahmad said this following the call by the state exco for Climate Protectors CEO Tang Too Siah to explain why Bank Negara had issued an alert against the firm as well as EcoBit, which is an entity linked to it.

Both were included in the central bank’s Financial Consumer Alert List on June 23 as those that were neither authorised nor approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by Bank Negara.

On Jan 9, the PAS-led Kelantan government had sealed a 30-year carbon credit offset deal with Climate Protectors to preserve 396,000ha of forest in Kelantan under the Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) programme.

“As stated in the agreement, we are giving the company 24 months to carry out scientific analysis as well as get a review and verification report from credible scientists on the carbon stock in the forest earmarked for the programme.

“The next phase of implementation would depend on the duration of the study and the capability of the company in managing the project,” Ahmad said.

He added that at the same time, the state government reserved its right to seek views of credible financial institutions to ensure that the transactions were in accordance with local and international laws.

“We will also discuss with any institution or country that has implemented REDD projects,” he said, adding that they would also take into consideration the views of Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Wan Junaidi had warned that the agreement did not meet the criteria under the United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

When contacted, Tang said a press statement would be issued soon.

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