Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says he does not support any extension of the $600 million Nasese foreshore hotel/tourism development project by Tian Lun Investment Pte Ltd.
He said there are too many serious questions pertaining to the credentials of the company which need to be investigated.
“Tian Lun Investment was granted a 5-year development lease over 36 hectares of State land in September 2018. It did not undertake any noticeable work on the land for a good 4 years.”
“Indeed, not much is known about the company itself except that it was first registered on 13 September 2016 with one Chinese national, Li Jialin (former name Jason) as the sole shareholder/ director.”
“One Peter Ledua was named as the contact person. The company’s office address was given as Lot 73 Gordon Street, Suva.”
“The company was re-registered on 2 March 2021 with a change of address of its registered office to Level 2 Stands House, 2 Gordon Street, Suva.”
“However, the shareholding had changed from $6m to $250,000. Li Jialin remained the sole Director/Shareholder – a one man company.”
He said the Registrar of Companies records show no annual returns were filed by the company between 2016 and 2022.
“The Company did not disclose its primary activity in the registration form, stating: “Not applicable for Company and Foreign Company.”
“The form also showed that the company did not have an Ultimate Holding Company.”
“A Google search of the company shows only Investment Fiji (IF) on the screen. Enquiries at IF revealed that they had no contact with the company and had no information on the so-called $600m proposed development project.”
Chaudhry said further enquiries with the Lands Department revealed nothing of interest.
“They were tight-lipped about how a development lease was issued to the company with an unknown record.”
“Was a due diligence done on the company prior to the grant of the development lease in 2016 is the question that must be answered by the Lands Minister? I don’t think so,” said Chaudhry .
“It is unbelievable that a company proposing to undertake a development of $600m would virtually have no public information on its past activities, be without support of a holding or a parent company, be unable to proceed with any meaningful development work for 4 years after the grant of the development lease.”
“Moreover, the huge reduction in its shareholding from $6m to $250,000 itself raises concerns about its credibility.”
“There are too many issues here that need a thorough investigation. I certainly don’t support an extension of the development lease or the grant of a 99-year lease to the company as matters stand.”
The environment impact issue is another big question which the people on the whole must decide,” Chaudhry further added.