Was the Prime Minister of Fiji in Kuching the other day ?


I heard that the Prime Minister of Fiji Commodore Bainimarama visited Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia recently. This could have been around the end of Aug or very early Sept 2009.

This visit was confirmed by the country’s Acting Prime Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau when he said this “Commodore Bainimarama was on a trip to Malaysia “

The visit was low key and local Press did not carry the news of the visit. Rumours in town reported Commodore Bainimarama was invited to visit Sarawak by Naim Cendera Bhd, a listed company and Sarawak’s leading low and medium cost Housing Developer. Whilst in the State the Fijian Leaders inspected a few of NC‘s Housing and Commercial projects.

With demand for housing in Sarawak on the decline, Naimm Cendera has developed an alternative business — civil construction. It has on its book over RM $3 billion of contracts for the next couple of years. It is now the time for it to look outside Sarawak for additional business. But the culture of doing business in foreign lands maybe different from Sarawak where much of Naim Cendera’s contracts were awarded by the State and Federal Governments by negotiation. In foreign lands they would have to fight for business as it would not be delivered to them on a silver platter. Naim Cendera needs to be more efficient and I know it will, if it wants to succeed.

In July 27 2009 Naim Cendera announced that the company has received a letter of award from the Public Works Dept of Fiji saying it “won a US$36 million (RM127 million) contract to upgrade a road located on the east cost of Fiji’s main island. “ The Company then said it was undecided if it would accept the offer. I guess 1 month later, the company has not announced its decision if it would accept the contract.

It is possible that one of NC’s concerns is the fear that the Fijian Government may not have the means to pay for this contract. Indeed at about the same time as the visit of the PM, it was announced that Fiji has been sacked from the Commonwealth. Many investors maybe worried that other Commonwealth countries e.g. UK,  Australia and New Zealand will withdraw development aids to the nation. It is just too bad that Fiji’s economy has in recent years suffered greatly as a result of poor prices and production of sugar export and its tourism industry is on the decline as a result of World’s Economic Slowdown. One good news is that some aid donors such as Australia will continue to provide aids program to Fiji.

Does the visit of the Fijian dignitaries preclude that more contracts would be given to Naim Cendera? We will wait for more news from Naim Cendera. Good luck Naim Cendera .

We hope that other Sarawak’s contractors and businessmen will take the lead to forge more business dealings with the countries of the Pacific Nations . It is worth noting that the Chinese (Taiwan and Peking), and India have in recent times been making great inroads and the China’s has been the Santa Claus to the Pacific Nations (for Political reasons). Australian and New Zealand are the traditional source of foreign investment in the Pacific Nations . If Sarawak businessman were to invest in Fiji, what business can we do with them?


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