Posts Tagged ‘Felda

27
Apr
18

Wake up and reject Najib, Mahathir tells Felda settlers

Wake up and reject Najib, Mahathir tells Felda settlers

Former prime minister refers to FGV as one of the ways that settlers have been misled, with promises of them becoming millionaires but ending up with debt instead.

Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking to settlers at the ceramah in Felda Bukit Tangga in Bukit Kayu Hitam last night.

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Felda settlers still supportive of Prime Minister Najib Razak to back Pakatan Harapan instead.

The Pakatan Harapan chairman claimed that out of 54 parliamentary constituencies which were Felda settlements, between 20 and 30 were seen likely to support Barisan Nasional (BN) in the general election (GE14) on May 9.

“To the settlers who are still backing Najib, ‘bangkitlah, bangunlah kamu’ (arise and wake up). Throw away those ‘dedak’.

“Look at how Najib is behaving,” Mahathir told a crowd of about 2,000 people at a ceramah with the theme “Save Felda! Save Malaysia!” held in Felda Bukit Tangga here last night.

Also present were PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, party supreme council member Zahid Mat Arip and incumbent Anak Bukit assemblyman Amiruddin Hamzah.

Felda Bukit Tangga falls within the state constituency of Bukit Kayu Hitam, which in turn comes under the Kubang Pasu parliamentary constituency.

It was a homecoming for the former prime minister, who served as Kubang Pasu MP for seven terms, starting with the 1974 general election, until 2004. He did not stand in the 2004 GE having stepped down from the government in October 2003.

Felda settlements are generally Umno strongholds. The opposition won only six Felda seats in the 2013 general election, three of which were won by PAS, which has since left the opposition pact.

The opposition gained a seventh Felda seat two years ago when the then deputy prime minister and Pagoh MP Muhyiddin Yassin was sacked from Umno. He subsequently joined Mahathir in setting up PPBM.

Mahathir told the crowd that the opposition pact was very much united to bring Najib down.

A crowd of about 2,000 gathered at Felda Bukit Tangga in Bukit Kayu Hitam for the “Selamatkan Felda, Selamatkan Malaysia” ceramah last night.

“If he goes down, can we fix the terrible state of our country? We can, because we have had a bit of experience in doing so,” he said.

…more
Wake up and reject Najib, Mahathir tells Felda settlers
April 14, 2018 – FMT

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23
Jan
18

Huge debts and the mismanagement by Felda subsidiary will rock the Felda vote

Shady land deal won’t rock Felda vote, but settlers’ debts will

FELDA’S troubles may have made national headlines but for the majority of 1.2 million plantation settlers and their families, the latest RM270 million land scandal is but a sideshow.

More pressing for them are the huge debts they owe the agency and the poor upkeep of their smallholdings by Felda subsidiary, Felda Technoplant Sdn Bhd (FTP).

Settlers’ groups said these everyday worries are what will rock the Felda vote spread out over 54 rural parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

The Felda vote has long been a certainty, or a “fixed deposit”, for Barisan Nasional, but land reform agency’s mismanagement of settlers’ holdings and their debts are jeopardising this traditional support base.

Financial scandals such as the Jalan Semarak land sale and acquisition of overvalued hotel properties could intensify the anger of the settlers, especially those of the second generation, at the government.

These scandals are campaign fodder for Pakatan Harapan (PH) which is making major inroads into Felda, thanks to former prime minister-turned opposition icon Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, Zulkefli Nordin, head of SGK2F, a group representing second-generation settlers, said the settlers were little bothered by the latest revelation of possible fraud in a Felda land transaction.

It was their poorly managed holdings and their high debts that the settlers were concerned about, he said.

“The mismanagement of their holdings by Felda and Felda Technoplant Sdn Bhd (FTP), their debts and their loan statements, which are not transparent – these are the issues that the government must settle if they want to win back the hearts of Felda settlers. These are the issues that everyone is talking about in the schemes, ” Zulkefli told the The Malaysian Insight in a WhatsApp message.

Felda settler families typically span two or three generations.

The first generation are the original settlers who received 4ha of land for them to plant rubber trees or oil palms. This group make up 30 to 40% of the Felda vote .

The second generation are the children of the original settlers. These make up 50 to 60% of the Felda vote. Their children are third generation settlers, but not all of them have reached voting age.

…more
Shady land deal won’t rock Felda vote, but settlers’ debts will
6 Jan 2018 – TMI

13
Jan
18

Felda settlers want changes in leadership

Felda settlers want changes in leadership

Jempol Felda settlers complain of higher debts and lack of proper management.

PUTRAJAYA: The scandals affecting Felda and increasing debts are troubling settlers.

Abdul Rahman Ramli, 58, speaking on behalf of settlers from the Felda Raja Alias settlement in Jempol, claimed the management had “absolutely failed” in its administration of Felda.

Rahman was present at the handing-over of a memorandum to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to urge them to investigate how Felda’s Jalan Semarak land changed hands today.

“As a settler, it breaks my heart to see that the management has absolutely failed us.

“Not only that, there are various scandals that Felda have been implicated in.

“The debts of settlers are also going up. Some owe Felda thousands of ringgit,” he told FMT today.

Rahman suggested that perhaps it was time Felda changed its leaders, who were drawn mainly from Umno.

“I hope all Malaysians understand our situation and why we are upset by the alleged corruption in Felda.”

Rahman was disappointed the management cannot even show settlers their accounts.

“Even with all the technology available, they can’t do something so simple.

“This is disheartening and it keeps us in very low spirits.”

It was time the settlers spoke out against such bad management of Felda, Rahman, who is also Jempol Amanah chairman, added.

“We do not have to wait for Felda to be implicated in such mega scandals before we voice out our concerns. There’re just too many scandals, just one after the other.”

New leaders can make the change for the settlers, he believed.

“I honestly believe that this is not the end of the road for us, all we need are better leaders, new ones, and we can get back on the right track.”

He said if Felda continues to be involved in controversies, settlers will lose confidence in the present administration running things.

…more
Felda settlers want changes in leadership
December 27, 2017 – FMT

08
Jan
18

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.

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

12
Dec
17

The controversial contract that can cost BN the Felda vote

The controversial contract that can cost BN the Felda vote

ABOUT 15 years ago, tens of thousands of settlers signed a replanting agreement with Felda that activists claim has led to one of their biggest problems today – crushing debt.

That agreement is now being studied by the settlers’ children, activists, lawyers, and politicians who want to either challenge it in court or use it as fodder for their general election campaigns.

Some of the settlers and their lawyers allege that the agreement is lopsided.

Others are working with politicians in Pakatan Harapan to turn it into a defining issue that could sway the Felda vote which impacts 56 parliamentary seats in the peninsula – most of which are held by Barisan Nasional.

There are 112,635 Felda settlers, not including their wives and children.

“We are forming a committee to study this issue at the party level before bringing it to the Pakatan Harapan presidential council,” said Amanah communications chief Khalid Samad.

Amanah, together with Bersatu, PKR, and DAP, form the PH alliance.

“We hope to go on a roadshow in Felda areas to explain the issue just like we did with the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) financial scandal, and offer solutions,” Khalid told The Malaysian Insight.

One of the lawyers studying the agreement, Dr Zulqarnain Luqman said 95% of the settlers signed the contract with Felda so that the agency could replant the holdings.

Hisomuddin Bakar, the son of a settler in Felda Cini, Pahang, said each Felda settler owned a four-hectare oil palm or rubber plantation, and by the beginning of the millennium, many of those trees were too old to bear fruit or latex.

He said Felda crafted an agreement wherein settlers would relinquish management of their estates to the agency so that it could replant the land with new trees.

It took about three years to replant and for the trees to mature, during which the holdings did not produce yields. During this period, each settler was paid a living allowance of RM1,500 per month.

Former plantation manager Shariman Alang Ahmad said oil palms took about three years to reach maturity and produce fruit.

“The optimal fruit bearing age is between eight and nine years, and the yield usually goes down once the tree is over 20 years old,” said Shariman, who worked for a government-linked company.

“At the end of the three years, when the trees started to bear fruit, Felda continued to manage the settlers’ holdings including maintaining the trees and harvesting the fruit.

“Felda did not return their holdings to the settlers because it claimed the settlers needed to repay the cost of replanting which ran into hundreds of thousands of ringgit,” Hisomuddin said.

Settlers were also told they needed to repay the living allowance they were paid during the three years.

Meanwhile, Felda continued to pay them RM1,500 per month while holding on to the holdings.

Settlers have claimed that their debts came up to over RM100,000 and that the agency could be collecting more than what it was owed.

“The question is, when are the settlers going to be done with the debt? Will it be passed on to their children and grandchildren?” said Hisomuddin.

One of the clauses of the agreement stipulates that the settlers may not, for any reason or under any circumstances, terminate the agreement until all debts and payments that are owed , including income advances, have been paid in full to Felda.

…more
The controversial contract that can cost BN the Felda vote
15 Nov 2017 – TMI

27
Nov
17

MACC will open more files on Felda, says Shahrir

MACC will open more files on Felda, says Shahrir

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will be investigating more cases involving wrongdoing and corruption in Felda, said the agency’s chairman, Shahrir Abdul Samad.

Shahrir said MACC’s investigation into the agency is unlikely to be limited to the purchase of a hotel in Kuching, and property in Kensington, London, by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

“I don’t think it (the investigation) will only stop with FIC and the Kensington property, but there will be other cases. We are open to investigation,” the Johor Baru MP said during a press conference at Dialogue TN50 with Felda new-generation settlers at Menara Felda in Kuala Lumpur today.

Present was Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

MACC is currently investigating FIC’s purchase of the Hotel Grand Borneo in Kuching, which is affiliated to the 1Borneo Hypermall in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

FIC reportedly paid RM86.4 million for the hotel in 2012.

Meanwhile, Merdeka Palace, a five-star hotel with 213 rooms, in Kuching was allegedly purchased for RM50 million more than its original value.

Park City Grand Plaza in Kensington was reported to have been bought for RM330 million, allegedly RM220 million more than its original value of RM110 million.

The acquisition is FIC’s first London property and Felda’s second. FIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Felda.

The Kensington purchase was made under FIC chief executive officer Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil during the time that Isa Samad was chairman of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), another Felda subsidiary.

MACC has called on a few individuals to assist in investigations regarding the purchases and have also raided a few locations, including Isa’s office when he was in FGV and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) office.

In March 2015, MACC questioned one of Isa’s sons over the Kensington purchase, according to Malaysiakini, citing a source privy to the investigations.

In May that year, Paul Low, the minister in charge of transparency and integrity, told Parliament that MACC found no wrongdoing in FIC’s London purchase.

In January this year, newly appointed Felda chairman Shahrir ordered all FIC board members to resign to facilitate the reorganisation of the company.

Isa resigned from FGV on June 19 after a public row with FGV president and CEO Zakaria Arshad over questionable deals worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.

Isa has since been appointed acting chairman of SPAD.

FIC was previously known as Capital Protocol Sdn Bhd before it was incorporated by Felda in July 2013. –November 14, 2017.

…more
MACC will open more files on Felda, says Shahrir
14 Nov 2017 – TMI

17
Oct
17

Why are Felda assets held by obscure offshore entities?

Why Felda assets held by obscure offshore entities, Rafizi queries

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has questioned why several of Felda’s overseas assets are held by obscure companies registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

He pointed out that this was despite Felda’s audited report claiming the assets were held by entities registered in the United Kingdom.

For example, he said the audited report showed the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel in London, purchased for RM330 million, was placed under FIC London Hotel (Private) Ltd registered in the UK but it was instead owned by a company of the same name in the BVI.

Rafizi said likewise, Felda’s assets such as the RM380 million Felda House Wembly and RM656 million Grand Felda Hotel in Wembley, UK, saw a similar setup.

The two properties were placed under BVI-registered FIC Global Ltd instead of the one registered in the UK.

He pointed out that the UK-registered entities are listed as subsidiaries of Felda from public records but there was no mention about the BVI-registered entities bearing the same name.

“Why the need for Felda House to be placed under a BVI-registered company whose ownership is kept secret?” he asked in a statement today.

Rafizi added that with regard to Felda House, it was charged to Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited for RM60 million loan to FIC Management Houses Pte Limited.

The Pandan MP said checks found that FIC Management Houses Pte Limited, which manages the Felda House and collects rental, was a subsidiary of Felda’s investment arm Felda Investments Corporation.

However, he claimed there was no record of the loan in FIC Management Houses Pte Limited’s financial statement.

Rafzi urged Felda to clarify the ownership of the BVI entities and the status of the loan.

…more
Why Felda assets held by obscure offshore entities, Rafizi queries
16 Oct 2017 – Malaysiakini




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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?

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