Fiji Times was forced to sell 90 per cent of its shares to local investors but the regime has encouraged a new Chinese factory in Suva that has no local partners.
The pugnacious and illegal Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, ordered the owners of the 140-year-old newspaper into local ownership or face closure, out of sheer vindictiveness.
And yet, the same 90 per cent local ownership principle was waived against the Chinese owned Tengy Cement (Fiji) Company Ltd, when the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources formalized the 99 year lease agreement last December with the company to build the country’s second cement factory in Veisari, Lami. Tengy was granted a 33 acres industrial lease.
The illegal Bainimarama regime had issued the Chinese investors with an industrial lease, cutting short the waiting period from 24 months to just eight weeks, a record breaking time.
The illegal Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Netani Sukanaivalu, commended the work of various Government ministries and departments for helping facilitate the needs of Tengy Cement (Fiji) Company Limited in record time.
“This is what Government had been saying all along, that Government ministries and departments must re-look at their systems and processes and ensure we reduce our turn-around time."
Sukanaivalu said what used to take government two years to finalise, took just two months to complete.
He boasted: “Tengy is one of the first Chinese companies to accept the Prime Minister's invitation. I'm particularly pleased that the Fiji government has stood true to its commitment to facilitate - in the shortest time possible and within reasonable cost - the request from foreign investors.
"Today, we witness a historic occasion in as far as government facilitation is concerned. What use to be 24 months turnaround time is now reduced to only two months. This means that government system and processes could be viewed to improve on our responsiveness.”
How it all began – A Passage to China
In August last year, the dictator Bainimarama announced that a Chinese cement producing company had expressed interest to set up a cement plant in Fiji.
“This company has indicated its willingness to set up their business in Fiji and I welcome them,” the dictator said. He revealed that he was approached by the company and he extended an invitation to them to visit Fiji and ascertain the conditions for setting up the plant.
The setting up of another cement factory in the country in Fiji, the dictator claimed, will help decrease the price of cement by creating competition for the few cement companies in Fiji who are indulging in cartel activity.
The dictator claimed the cement companies in Fiji had been asked to decrease the prices of cement but had not relented. “They have not done so and now it’s better to bring in another company to do just that for a lower price. Monopoly is bad for the people and I’ll make sure to put a stop to that.”
Bainimarama said he was determined to break the monopoly held by the sole cement producer in the country - Fiji Industries Ltd. (Coupfourpointfive wants to know why, if we are to accept the dictator’s monopoly thesis, his own army officers are monopolizing all crucial civil service and other institutions?)
The dictator had met the Tengy cement company investors during the Shanghai Expo, where Fiji also had a booth to entice investors to the corruption riddled Fiji.
Also present with the dictator were Khaiyum (doubling up as illegal Minister for Trade and Commerce) and Fiji Trade and Investment Board (FTIB) chairman Adrian Sofield, who had taken up his new post in June 2010. The Chinese ambassador to Fiji was also up there.
The Road to Company Registration in Fiji
A Coupfourpointfive investigation into Tengy reveals the Chinese company was awarded the Foreign Registration Certificate Number 10-01-79 on 21 December 2010 by the FTIB CEO.
In awarding the Certificate, the CEO wrote to one Fugang Zao, P O Box 2563, Government Buildings, Suva, that the Certificate was for the Chinese company to establish a cement factory; and to manufacture and retail cement products.
The company was informed that “the foreign investor must have at least $250,000 in paid up capital in the form of cash from the operational date, to be brought fully into Fiji within the 12 months implementation period”. In addition, “the foreign investor must not engage in any other business activities not specified in this certificate”.
Jamnadas and Associates
The scandal ridden lawfirm of Jamnadas and Associates acted on behalf of the Chinese company. In this instance, it was not Renee Lal (partner in Jamnadas and Associates, and now accused of $400,000 fraud involving a Ghanian businessman) but Mele L Rakai, an Associate with the lawfirm who was involved in the formation of Tengy, as evidenced from his affidavit to the Registrar of Companies.
The two directors of the company are as follows: Teng Fei Zhao and Yu Bian. Both are Chinese citizens. The two gave their addresses as P. O. Box 2563, Government Buildings, Suva. The secretary of Tengy has been listed as one Ray Zhao.
The share capital of the company is one million dollars Fiji currency divided into 1,000,000 shares of $1 each, with power for the company to increase or reduce such capital.
The signatures of Teng Fei Zhao and Yu Bian, was personally witnessed by Dilip Jamnadas, solicitor, Jamnadas & Associates, Suva.