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Clear signs of fraud in Felda land deal

Clear signs of fraud in Felda land deal

THERE are clear signs of fraud in Felda’s Jalan Semarak land deal, said a top property lawyer, as investigations intensify into how the beleaguered agency lost ownership of a prime piece of land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian property lawyers (HartaGuam) deputy president Salkukhairi Abd Shukor said this was because the developer of the four parcels of land had abused the power of attorney granted to it by Felda.

The developer, appointed by Felda subsidiary Felda Investment Corporation (FIC), transferred ownership of the land to Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd in which it had an interest.

The transfer of ownership did not have to occur as the developer had only been appointed by Felda to build Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC), said Salkukhairi.

KLVC is being built on land that houses Felda’s old headquarters and two of its buildings, Anjung Felda and Wisma Felda. Once completed, the project is supposed to include the agency’s iconic tower, known as KLVC Tower1A.

Another sign of fraud was the claim that no money changed hands during the alleged transfer, he said.

“According to Felda chairman (Shahrir Samad), Felda has up to this point not received a sen from the transfer.

“How could a land owner transfer ownership without any value consideration? That’s where I believe the fraud is,” Salkukhairi told The Malaysian Insight.

It has been reported that the land, which totals 66,000 sq m in central Kuala Lumpur, was worth RM270 million when its ownership was transferred.

However, Shahrir reportedly said Felda did not gain a sen from the transaction which occurred in December 2015.

The decision to appoint KLVC’s developer and to give it power of attorney was done by FIC in June 2014.

However, FIC only informed the Felda board of the decision three months later and asked for retrospective approval.

Police have opened investigations into the allegations and plan to haul up former Felda chairman Mohd Isa Samad for questioning.

Isa was both Felda and FIC chairman while the deal took place.

Clear signs of fraud in Felda land deal
28 Dec 2017 – TMI


Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing

Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing

KUALA LUMPUR – State-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has made the final settlement of US$602.7 million ($S810 million) in debt obligations to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), by divesting its stake in two companies to buyers linked to Chinese state-owned enterprises.

The payment, the second tranche to a US$1.2 billion dollar loan IPIC extended in July 2015 to the troubled 1MDB, was made on Friday (Dec 22), ahead of the end-December deadline that both parties agreed to in early April this year.

IPIC confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that “it has now received all the funds required to be paid to it under the Settlement with the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia and 1MDB and the Consent Award made on 9 May 2017”.

“The process to pay is being initiated early because the funds are in place and 1MDB wants to avoid any administrative trip-ups that could result from the banking holidays at the end of the year,” one Malaysian government official familiar with the settlement said.

The first tranche was settled in August.

The second instalment will be paid with funds raised from the sale of investments in financial instruments held by the Malaysian investment company and stakes held in two 1MDB-related entities that own tracts of land in the northern Penang state and another 318-acre real estate parcel around Port Klang, the sources said.

Malaysian government officials declined to identify the buyers in the real estate transactions but one financial executive close to the situation said that the equity interests in the 1MDB real estate entities were acquired by “concerns ultimately controlled by Chinese state-owned enterprises”. The executive declined to elaborate.

1MDB did not respond to requests for comment.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, 1MDB said that all funds were paid from proceeds of its on-going rationalisation programme.

Opposition MP Tony Pua had previously questioned how 1MDB was funding these repayments, and alleged that the Ministry of Finance’s refusal to answer indicated that 1MDB had help from the government.

For the first tranche, 1MDB had said in April that it would use investment units owned by 1MDB subsidiary Brazen Sky Limited to fund the payment.

In June however, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said these so-called fund units are “relatively worthless”.

The DOJ has filed several lawsuits seeking to seize dozens of properties and luxury assets that it claimed were purchased with funds misappropriated from 1MDB amounting to over US$3.5 billion. The ongoing probe is one of several worldwide relating to 1MDB. Investigations have also been carried out in Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

The dispute between 1MDB and IPIC revolves around the IPIC loan and another US$3.54 billion in cash advances 1MDB claimed it made to several Abu Dhabi-controlled entities as part of obligations under a May 2012 bond arrangement.

IPIC claimed that it never received the monies from 1MDB, triggering the dispute.

Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing
27 Dec 2017 – Straits Times


Company in Felda land transfer scandal is interior design company

Shadow cast over ID company in Felda land transfer

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27— Questions are being raised about the development experience of local company Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd, reported to have taken over ownership of the Jalan Semarak land here from the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).

Malay daily Berita Harian cited an unnamed source claiming that Synergy Promenade is an interior design company with experience in handling some interior projects in Menara Felda and Istana Negara, but none in managing development projects.

“There is no reason for the land to be transferred to Synergy Promenade. Granted the full power of attorney (PA), the company already has enough power to do the development works on behalf of Felda.

“Synergy Promenade holds the PA only as an agent while Felda is the principal so that it could get the development order (DO). So, why would the land need to be transferred to the company?” the source was quoted saying.

According to the source, Synergy Promenade should have only imposed a third-party charge on the land as it had already acquired the DO as well as a lease agreement with Felda Investment Corp (FIC) for a large section of the tower that was to be built.

The source said the third party charge can be collected from the project itself and not from the land, as the company is responsible to fund the project.

The source claimed that in order for banks to approve loans to the company or the project, Synergy Promenade should have a credit worthiness and value to the bank.

Berita Harian also reported that Synergy Promenade was registered on June 15, 2006, and recorded its activities as property developer and construction contractor, general contractor, and general business.

The newspaper added that its checks showed no project developments had been carried out by Synergy Promenade.

Shadow cast over ID company in Felda land transfer
December 27, 2017 – MMO


BN will bulldoze redelineation and hold GE14, says Pakatan

BN will bulldoze redelineation and hold GE14, says Pakatan

THE government is likely to hold a special parliamentary session next month to pass the Election Commission’s redelineation proposal ahead of the 14th general election (GE14), said Pakatan Harapan vice-president Salahuddin Ayub.

“We believe Barisan Nasional will dissolve Parliament and state assemblies after passing the EC’s proposal,” said the Amanah deputy president.

Although widely touted as unfair, EC’s redelineation does not spell the end of PH’s challenge, he said at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

“The proposal can cut both ways. And all we need is a 10%-20% swing from the Malay or Umno hardcore supporters.”

The EC proposal has been criticised for creating super majority seats in opposition-held seats. The proposal also creates more Malay-majority seats and fewer mixed seats by moving voters around.

At the last general election, BN won 77 Malay-majority seats while Pakatan Rakyat won 37. In the battle for mixed seats, BN won eight while PR took 21.

“But we have no choice but to be prepared for this new proposal,” said Salahuddin when asked if PH was ready for the new federal and state constituencies.

The new electoral boundaries were already known and PH is prepared to face them, he said.

BN will bulldoze redelineation and hold GE14, says Pakatan
20 Dec 2017 – TMI


We’re ready to vote PH in GE14, say second-generation Felda settlers

We’re ready to vote PH in GE14, say second-generation Felda settlers

THE second generation of Felda settler families is ready to choose Pakatan Harapan (PH) at GE14, saying poor management of the agency has burdened their lives for too long.

“We need to make a change because there have been too many scandals and there are obviously weaknesses (in administration). My friends and I all want change. We will vote for a party other than Barisan Nasional (BN).

“For too long our parents have been burdened with poor management that is the fault of Felda itself,” Jamaliah Musa, 50, told The Malaysian Insight.

Jamaliah was one of 300 attendees at the launch of the Jelajah Selamatkan Felda (Save Felda roadshow) organised by the Felda Settlers’ Children Association (Anak), a group representing second generation settlers, in Felda Sungai Sayong, Kota Tinggi last night.

The event was attended by Anak president Mazlan Aliman and PH leaders, including Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and PKR Johor chairman Hassan Karim, who spoke on current issues involving Felda.

The Felda vote is spread out over 54 rural parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

Established in 1956 as a poverty eradication-cum-agriculture development scheme, there are Felda settler families in their fourth generation.

The first generation of settlers received 10 acres of land from Felda to plant rubber or oil palm. This generation is estimated to make up 30 to 40% of Felda voters.

Their children, meanwhile, make up between 50 and 60% of Felda voters.

Felda’s problems, however, have come to light in recent years. They involve huge debts borne by settlers over earlier replanting schemes and overpriced property purchases by Felda subsidiary Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC).

The latest scandal to come to light is the dubious transfer of prime land owned by Felda in Kuala Lumpur that was sold for RM270 million to a company given the power of attorney to develop the land, without Felda receiving a sen.

Another attendee Hasnah Mahmud said she could not wait for GE14 to make a change in the country.

“I feel excited for the upcoming election. God willing, I am ready to make a change.”

She said even though she had attended several activities by government-sponsored Gerakan Persatuan Wanita Felda (GPW), she has decided not to vote for the government of the day.

“GPW tries to drum up support of young women for BN, but I have made my decision.”

Meanwhile, Muhammad Khairul Omar said he left Umno to join Bersatu as he was disappointed with Felda’s failure to manage settlers’ plantations, as well as the unreasonable debt incurred by his parents’ generation.

“Tonight’s event is full of ceramah by leaders such as Mazlan but to redeem Felda is not easy. As Mat Sabu says, Felda settlers are hard-headed people.

“But this time I am confident there is no other choice. There is no longer a place for Umno in Felda and among settlers,” said the second-generation resident of Felda Penggeli Timur, Kota Tinggi.

We’re ready to vote PH in GE14, say second-generation Felda settlers
6 Jan 2018 – TMI


‘Malays have reached tipping point’

‘Malays have reached tipping point’

Lawyer-activist says Malays are fed up with the opulence, arrogance and corruption in the current establishment.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer-activist Azhar Harun today warned that the tipping point for the Malays has been reached as many are fed up with the country’s current situation.

Responding to those who believe that a PAS-Umno collaboration will ensure continued dominance by Umno, Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, said the situation was not that simple.

“It is not as simple as PAS being placed as a spoiler in a three-cornered fight to split the Malay votes,” he said in a Facebook post.

Neither was it as straightforward as the Malays simply being angry, he added.

“The tipping point for the Malays has no equivalent English word. It is ‘menyampah’.

“Honestly, that tipping point has been reached. Many are now menyampah.”

Agreeing with a commentary titled “BN’s dicey situation in Johor”, which predicted that Barisan Nasional would struggle to retain the favour of “new Malays”, he said the Malays’ sentiment had “boiled up” and manifested itself as a “ravenous dislike, and even hatred, for the current set-up”.

“The opulence. The arrogance. The corruption.”

Such issues had overridden even the “absorbency” of Malays, he said.

“The Malays are an absorbent people. We absorb a lot. Our angers are easily pacified. You come to our kampungs, show your face, say something nice and give us bits, and we normally give you another chance. It is in our genes.

“It doesn’t take anger for the Malays to go against the tide.

“The article refers to the ‘new consciousness of the Malays’ that will redefine the Malay voting landscape.

“That is what I mean. The tipping point has been reached,” he said.

‘Malays have reached tipping point’
December 19, 2017 – FMT


Forensic audit unnecessary to nab culprits in Felda land scam

Forensic audit unnecessary to nab culprits in Felda land scam

THE government does not need to hold a forensic audit to finger the persons responsible for the ownership transfer of Felda’s four parcels of prime land in Kuala Lumpur, as the timeline for the chain of events will provide enough clues to the identities of the guilty parties, Johor PKR chairman Hassan Karim said.

Putrajaya needs only to look at the chronology of events and management chart to identify the individuals responsible, Hassan said at the launch of “Jelajah Selamatkan Felda” (Save Felda Roadshow) in Kota Tinggi in the southernmost state last night.

“We’ve actually told (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak) there is no need to appoint a forensic auditor for an inquiry.

“It’s easy (to pinpoint the culprit). Shahrir Samad is now the Felda chairman. Before that, who was it? Isa Samad. All this is in front of the prime minister. Remember, Felda is under the prime minister,” Hassan said at the event organised by Anak, a group representing second-generation Felda settlers.

Amanah leaders Mohamad Sabu, Aminolhuda Hassan and Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus, Bersatu vice-president Abdul Rashid Asari and Anak president Mazlan Aliman were present..

Hassan was referring to Najib’s promise to get to the bottom of Felda’s latest scandal which came to light last month. About 6ha of prime land on Jalan Semarak was sold for RM270 million to a company which was also given the power of attorney to develop the land, without Felda receiving a sen.

Najib on his blog two days ago said the government had appointed an external auditor to conduct a forensic audit on the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC) project that was to be built on the Jalan Semarak land.

“This audit firm will conduct a forensic audit on all activities, decisions and actions related to this project.

“It will also reevaluate the relevant regulatory process, including weaknesses in internal administration, as well as Felda’s oversight of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC).

“The audit firm’s investigation will also involve the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Land and Mines Office and City Hall,” Najib wrote on

Hassan yesterday night said the timeline showed that the land transfer or sale had occurred while Umno warlord Isa Samad was the agency chairman.

Isa was Felda chairman from 2011 to January last year, after which Shahrir took over.

Isa was also chairman of Felda Global Ventures Bhd (FGV) from 2011 to June last year, and chairman of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC) from July 2013 to last year.

FIC is also under investigation for acquiring overpriced hotels in London and Kuching, which occured during Isa’s tenure.

Hassan said Felda’s problems were like a movie where characters on the same side played “good cop, bad cop”.

“Najib, Shahrir and Isa represent two faces of the Umno and Barisan Nasional government,” he said.

Anak president Mazlan, meanwhile, said Isa was merely a “yes-man” in the scandals as he ultimately reported to Najib and the Prime Minister’s Department which oversaw Felda.

Forensic audit unnecessary to nab culprits in Felda land scam
6 Jan 2018 – TMI

Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?