The following post was publicized by Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap on the facebook page, Yap’s Development, about 12pm, November 6 (Micronesia time), in the same discussion threads of Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap’s questions to Mr. Yang Gang.
Source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/permalink/506687616008584/ (also see here)
ETG/Mr. Yang Gang responded to Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap’s questions (also see here), but the answers were not directly posted on the the source facebook page, Yap’s Development. ETG/Mr. Yang Gang instead replied on ETG’s facebook page without providing links referencing to the original questions.
Link of ETG/Mr. Yang Gang’s Post: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/451572691555540
[Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap’s Reply]
I want to thank Mr. Yang for responding to the questions I asked and the concerns I raised in my initial posts in this thread. I have been alerted that Mr. Yang’s response can be found in the Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/451572691555540.
Before I respond to your post, Mr. Yang, I want to express my disappointment that you chose to respond to my post solely in the Yap ETG Paradise Islands page, without at least linking to your response here (whether in this thread or elsewhere in the Yap’s Development Facebook group), if not outright reprinting your post here. I do appreciate that you responded to my post in some form, but I feel like the respectful thing for you to do was to at least share your response here, especially after I expressly and respectfully requested that you do so.
On that note, before I respond to your post, Mr. Yang please let me reprint your response below. I trust that this does not perturb you, Mr. Yang.
Here is Mr. Yang’s response:
We would like to answer these five question asked by Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap posted on Facebook Yap’s Development Group on November 2, 2012. Sorry for my late reply and please forgive my poor English.
1) ETG confirms that ETG received a letter dated on September 17, 2012 signed by three “Paramount Chiefs”: Mr. Aloysius Faimau, Mr. John B. Ranganbay and Mr. William Yad. ETG also received another letter dated on September 21, 2012 signed by other three “Paramount Chiefs”: Mr. Francis Fithingmow, Mr. Steven Mar and Mr. Victor Nabeyan. Due to our limited knowledge on the traditional leadership of Yap, we are confused by these 2 letters from very different Paramount Chiefs. We are paying close attention to the follow up actions of the 3 Paramount municipalities after these 2 letters. Mr. Mulalap who are the real paramount chiefs? Please advise.
2) ETG also confirms ETG has received the letter from Governor Anefal on October 2, 2012 in the Governor’s office. So far, ETG’s head office has not sent the response to us. ETG working team sent letters to Concerned Citizen Group (CCG) and Yap Awareness Group on October 31, 2012 for the meetings respectively with the two groups. ETG would like to listen to different voices and opinions of people of Yap. We believes these meetings will be helpful for ETG to make a right decision.
3). ETG working team would like to meet representatives of Concerned Citizen Group and Yap Awareness Group in our office. Whether the meetings should be live broadcasted or not should be decided by these two groups, not ETG, because ETG can’t ask for Government’s resource for ETG’s business. ETG is open to live broadcast for our meetings with both groups, we think it is a very good way to exchange ideas and information.
(4) Regarding the master plan, ETG does not have master plan yet, what we have now is only a conceptual proposal. ETG will only lease land from the land owners who are willing to lease to us based on their free will. ETG will have master plan based on the actual land secured. In your question, you assume ETG has at least some concrete idea, because ETG is looking at constructing 1 or 2 golf course(s). For your information, ETG HOPES to build 1 or 2 golf course(s), but that does not mean ETG has concrete plan and can realize it. Proposals and concrete plan are two very different things. What ETG wants or hopes to build has been listed on the ETG’s summary proposal and the booklet. Please check. Whether ETG really can build, it is totally based on the land availability and other factors. Just like you want to buy some onions from Blue Lagoon or YCA, but maybe the stores have run out of stocks, so at the end, you may not be able to buy it although you want to. Do you agree?
(5) Regarding the disclosure of land leasing agreement signed between ETG and landowner, you should have a better idea than us, because you are a lawyer. The land lease agreement signed between two parties. We think it can be disclosed if two parties should all agree to disclose. We will consult with our lawyers about this issue.
Land lease agreement IS a confidential document for both lessor and lessee. ETG will just share the draft agreement with those landowners who are planning to lease their lands to us. Landowners have freedom to show it to those people they trust and want to seek opinions, advice and help from. ETG doesn’t see the necessity to disclose this confidential document of a private business from ETG side to any other irrelevant third party on internet.
Regarding your mentioned the open communication and transparency, ETG Yap would like to state its position here.
(1) ETG Yap is very open and transparent. ETG would like communicate with people of Yap through all channels such as phone calls ( Mr. Yang Gang :952 2975, Mr. Frank Li :952 3909， Office: 3505888), or visiting our office (Y.P.D.R 2nd floor), posting comments and questions on facebook page: Yap ETG Paradise Lands International Investment Group Inc or Yang Gang. The above information, ETG has posted many times and printed on our booklets. ETG Yap has not received any phones calls, or visitors.
(2) ETG Yap does not think it is not transparent, just because only two persons are not invited to post their comments on Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page. From the beginning, ETG Yap did not block them to post their comments, but ETG Yap found their comments are not constructive, and are not based on facts, or not related to the project. ETG Yap decided they were not invited to post their comments on the page, but they still can read. ETG Yap Paradise Islands page is not the place for rumors and libel. People of Yap need to receive the direct information from ETG Yap. They should not be disturbed. This is the right of ETG Yap. This is why there is the function of block for facebook admin.
Mr. Yang Gang also applied for joining the Facebook Yap State Youth Group and Yap’s Development Group for long time. We believe these administrators found him long time ago. He was just allowed to enter Yap’s Development Group four days ago and Yap State Youth Group two days ago. How do you think of this?
ETG Yap’s Facebook page is used to increase the awareness of ETG’s proposed project to people of Yap and answer any valid question on internet. We welcome any constructive opinions, suggestions or even criticism which is meaningful, especially from people of Yap, BUT, we don’t like irresponsible and irrelevant people to use our Facebook page as a platform to spread rumors and post irrelevant information not yet proved to be true.
(3) Posting the comments on Yap ETG page is not the only way of communication. Mr. Norman and Mr. Rock still can post on Yap State Youth Group and Yap’s Development Group. We appreciate for all constructive comments and all project related questions.
Sorry for my poor English put above, and sorry again for the late reply.
Again, thank you, Mr. Yang, for your post. Please allow me to respond.
1) Regarding ETG’s position on the September 17, 2012 letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol, I want to emphasize, from the outset, that my interest in discussions of the Dalip pi Nguchol and their traditional powers is primarily a legal one. Although you asked me to name the Dalip pi Nguchol, Mr. Yang, I cannot do that, because my father and I are gafugow in such matters, and I should not really stand up in public and proclaim that this person and that person truly are the Dalip pi Nguchol. That does not mean that I do not have my own machib about who the Dalip pi Nguchol truly are, but for the purpose of this discussion, I will focus on the legalities involved in the letters from the Dalip pi Nguchol rather than address the question of who is actually what.
Mr. Yang, you have now confirmed that ETG’s official position is that there are two competing letters from two sets of “Paramount Chiefs”—the aforementioned one from September 17, 2012, and a second one from September 21, 2012—and that ETG refuses to comply with the edict issued in the September 17, 2012 letter because the second letter seems to challenge the traditional authority of the Dalip pi Nguchol who issued the first letter. However, I respectfully suggest that ETG misunderstands the nature and content of the two letters. If you carefully read the second letter (i.e., the one from Francis Fithingmow, Steven Mar, and Victor Nabeyan representing three Bulche estates), you should realize that the letter never identifies the signatories of the letter as being the Dalip pi Nguchol. The signatories of the letter identify themselves as the spokespersons for the three Bulche estates of Pebnaw, Namath, and Tithera’, but they never identify themselves as the Dalip pi Nguchol. Now, I understand that the Yap State Media News brief that publicized this letter called the signatories “Paramount Chiefs,” but that pronouncement by Yap Media has no legal validity, at least where Article III, Section 1 of the Yap State Constitution is concerned. The pronouncements of a news outlet—particularly one that has already been exposed for committing an especially egregious reporting error regarding US Ambassador Rosen’s recent comments about ETG’s proposed Project in Yap—are not sufficient to confer/recognize traditional authority, constitutionally speaking and culturally speaking.
By contrast, the first letter (i.e., the September 17, 2012 letter) contains several explicit identifications of that letter’s signatories as the Dalip pi Nguchol. Additionally, Governor Anefal (in his October 1, 2012 letter to ETG via Chairman Deng Hong) explicitly cites the September 17, 2012 letter as one reason why ETG and the State of Yap should void the signed Investment Agreement “and any legal documents preceding it.” You therefore have one letter with explicit language identifying the Dalip pi Nguchol, and another letter that at least implicitly accepts the validity of that first letter’s identification of its signatories as the Dalip pi Nguchol. Now, again, I want to emphasize that I am not saying who is what. I am simply pointing out the legal import of the various letters being bandied about, and in my opinion, from a legal standpoint, those letters do not actually contradict themselves, legally speaking. The September 17, 2012 letter identifies its signatories as the Dalip pi Nguchol, the September 21, 2012 letter does not dispute the first letter’s identification of the Dalip pi Nguchol, and Governor Anefal’s October 1, 2012 letter accepts the validity of the September 17, 2012 letter. There is no contradiction here, Mr. Yang. Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, then please explain why. If you agree, then please explain why ETG continues to pursue its proposed Project in Yap despite the legally binding prohibition from the Dalip pi Nguchol in their September 17, 2012 letter.
2) Mr. Yang, thank you for confirming once again that ETG has, in fact, received Governor Anefal’s October 1, 2012 letter. I am still struggling to understand why ETG continues to pursue its proposed Project in Yap despite receiving such a letter. Legally speaking, when a party to a contract (such as the signed Investment Agreement) receives a written notice from another party to the same contract stating that the contract should be voided because of conditions that amount to a “frustration of purpose” (a legal concept that I discuss here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/permalink/502166176460728/?comment_id=502290346448311&offset=0&total_comments=54), the receiving party cannot continue pursuing its activities under the contract without at least responding formally to the party that sends the written notice. Otherwise, the receiving party will be in an unfair position, wherein that party will continue to insist that certain contractual obligations be met by the party sending the written notice even though the latter party is unable to perform those obligations (as Governor Anefal admits in his October 1, 2012 letter). This is the manner in which a contractual situation involving a so-called “frustration of purpose” is supposed to be resolved. ETG, as the contractual party receiving the written notice from Governor Anefal attesting to what is essentially a “frustration of purpose,” cannot continue pursuing its activities under its contract with the State of Yap (as represented by Governor Anefal and the Anefal Administration) until ETG has formally communicated its decision to honor or reject the written notice from Governor Anefal. Yet, ETG recently sent out letters to the Concerned Citizens Group and the Yap Awareness Project requesting separate meetings to discuss ETG’s proposed Project in Yap. Furthermore, you have stated several times since ETG’s receipt of Governor Anefal’s letter that ETG is continuing to pursue land leases from private Yapese landowners for the sake of ETG’s proposed Project in Yap. ETG is doing all of this despite the fact that it has not officially responded to Governor Anefal’s letter with either an acceptance or a rejection of the letter’s expression of “frustration.” These actions by ETG, in my opinion, are legally impermissible, Mr. Yang. Do you agree or disagree?
3) Mr. Yang, thank you for agreeing to live broadcasts of your meetings with the Concerned Citizens Group and the Yap Awareness Project. May I remind you, Mr. Yang, that while ETG cannot commandeer the Yap State Government’s radio equipment and airwaves for its meetings, ETG can certainly ask the Yap State Media (or whatever the appropriate government agency is) to provide those facilities and services for ETG’s meetings, assuming that the Concerned Citizens Group and the Yap Awareness Project agree to meet with ETG and agree to have their meetings broadcast live. Will ETG commit to asking those groups if they want the live broadcasts, and will ETG then ask the Yap State Government to provide those live broadcasts, all in the interests of openness and transparency?
4) Mr. Yang, I appreciate your assertion that ETG does not have a Master Plan. Please note, though, that I did not ask ETG to furnish a Master Plan right now. I would welcome that furnishing, but you have repeatedly stated that ETG does not have a Master Plan and cannot create one unless and until it leases enough land from private Yapese landowners. Instead, what I have asked is for ETG to share whatever visions/ideas/proposals it may have for its proposed Project, however “concrete” they may be, so that private Yapese landowners can assess them and gain some understanding of what ETG plans to do on their land and on their neighbors’ land before they possibly lease their lands to ETG. At first, I thought that ETG’s promotional brochures and Powerpoint presentations were sufficient to provide private Yapese landowners with enough information to make their decisions about leasing land to ETG, but ETG and its supporters have stated that those documents and presentations are just “dreams” that should not be considered too seriously. And yet, in your response to my post in this thread, you state that “what ETG wants or hopes to build has been listed on the ETG’s summary proposal and the booklet.” Mr. Yang, these are the very documents and presentations that ETG and its supporters have insisted for a while now as being nothing more than “dreams” that should not be taken seriously at the moment. Why do you refer us to those documents and presentations now, Mr. Yang, when ETG discounted them previously?
Mr. Yang, this is precisely the sort of confusion that I hope to dispel by respectfully asking you and ETG to present ETG’s vision (if not an outright Master Plan) right now before securing land leases from private Yapese landowners. It seems that ETG has re-embraced the various promotional brochures and Powerpoint presentations that were circulated among select government offices in Yap and that have been discussed at length on Facebook. Is that so? If it is, then does that mean that ETG continues to hope to build, among other things, golf courses, marinas, an expanded airport runway, a large artificial water reservoir, several water dams, and so on, on Yap? Those items are contained in the aforementioned brochures and presentations. Are those what ETG hopes to build, Mr. Yang?
Additionally, Mr. Yang, in my opinion, it is inappropriate to withhold the presentation of a Master Plan until after ETG secures land leases from private Yapese landowners. Do you believe that it is proper for private Yapese landowners to enter into land leases with ETG without first knowing what ETG plans to do with their leased land and the leased land of their neighbors? If you do not believe that this is appropriate, then will ETG agree to suspend its current efforts to secure land leases in Yap until ETG presents either a full Master Plan or at least a grand vision/proposal for its proposed Project in Yap?
Finally, Mr. Yang, please remember that the State of Yap has the authority under the signed Investment Agreement to reject ETG’s Master Plan. If ETG withholds its Master Plan until after securing land leases, and if the State of Yap subsequently rejects ETG’s Master Plan, what happens to the land leases that ETG has already secured? Is ETG willing to insert clauses in its land leases with private Yapese landowners stipulating that the rejection of the Master Plan will automatically nullify those land leases? Will you make that commitment here, Mr. Yang?
5) Mr. Yang, you are correct to state that it would be improper for me to demand that ETG publicly shares copies of land lease agreements that it enters into with private Yapese landowners. However, Mr. Yang, that is not what I asked from ETG. Please allow me to quote my initial post in this thread:
“[I]s ETG willing to disclose the template for possible land lease agreements that ETG will enter into with private Yapese landowners? In other words, does ETG have a basic land lease form that it wishes private Yapese landowners to use—including basic/commonplace lease terms—and if so, is ETG willing to share that form publicly? Since ETG has admitted (here: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/449349971777812?comment_id=4808403&offset=0&total_comments=28) that it “ha[s]n’t signed any land lease agreement yet,” such a form would not necessarily be confidential, being a template and not a finalized land lease agreement between private parties. Is ETG willing to share such a template with this Group, assuming that it exists?”
As you can tell, Mr. Yang, I am only asking for a copy of a template—i.e., whatever basic/common/sample land lease form that ETG has and that ETG wishes to recommend for signing by private Yapese landowners. I am NOT asking for copies of signed lease agreements. Indeed, you have admitted that ETG has not entered into any land leases so far, so there should be no confidentiality issue involved.
Now, ETG does not have a legal obligation to share the form publicly, but you have repeatedly espoused ETG’s openness and transparency, Mr. Yang, so it seems to me that such a voluntary sharing will go a long way toward validating ETG’s embrace of openness and transparency. More importantly, such a voluntary sharing will give private Yapese landowners an opportunity to see what they’re possibly getting into before they decide whether to enter into a land lease agreement with ETG. Would it not be simpler—and more transparent and open—to just publicize such a sample form and let private Yapese landowners view it at their own leisure rather than be forced to reach out to ETG? Again, because this would be a sample form, there should be no confidentiality issue.
Clement Yow Mulalap Finally, a word on posting on the Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page.
Mr. Yang, I will let Mr. Rock and Mr. Norman explain fully whether they feel that the posts they made on that page were productive and relevant. I just want to note that the posts I did notice dealt with ETG’s proposed Project in Yap, and so they seemed quite relevant. Of course, they were also quite critical of the proposed Project, but criticism should be welcomed if relevant, yes? In any case, because you decided to ban comments that I thought were relevant to ETG’s proposed Project, I continue to refrain from posting substantively in that page. You can respond to me on that page as often as you wish, but please extend me the courtesy of at least linking to your posts here in this group for all the members of this group to read.
Mr. Yang, again, I thank you very much for responding to my post. Please continue participating in our discussions. I respectfully request and welcome ETG’s official responses to the various questions I pose in this response. Have a good day, Mr. Yang.
One last comment from me for now:
I deeply apologize for posting so much and for drawing so much attention to me and my concerns. I know it is not really advisable, culturally speaking, for someone to stand out and make a spectacle of himself or herself in public, so to the extent that my (usually VERY long) posts in this group cause such a spectacle and distraction, I deeply apologize. As you can tell, I have much on my mind, and I need to do a better job of conveying my thoughts in a concise–but still informative and helpful–manner. I will do my best.
Kam’magar, ma siro.
Source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/permalink/506687616008584/ (also see here)
Link of ETG/Mr. Yang Gang’s Post: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/451572691555540