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Monday, October 17, 2011

Anwar, Hadi to launch Abolish ISA 2.0: Not the draconian law but Isa Samad!

Anwar, Hadi to launch Abolish ISA 2.0: Not the draconian law but Isa Samad!

Pakatan Rakyat top guns will launch an Abolish ISA Movement 2.0 in Parliament on Tuesday. But lest anyone is mistaken in thinking that the movement is related to the draconian Internal Security Act, it is not. Instead, it refers to Isa Samad, the former Negri Sembilan chief minister Umno veep who was suspended for money politics.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and PAS president Hadi Awang are expected to officiate the 12.30pm launch.

Abolish ISA 2.0 is a coalition of existing NGOs, which have grouped together to demand that Felda terminated Isa Samad's contract as chairman of the land resettlement agency as soon as possible. Among the prominent NGOs in the movement are the Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (Anak), Badan Bertindak Peserta Felcra (Bapa), Bangkit and Waris.

Are Isa and Najib up to no good?

There has always been resentment and doubt about his appointment by Prime Minister Najib Razak because of his tainted record and he has also stirred fresh unhappiness amongst Felda staff and settlers since joining the board.

The most recent saga involves a power struggle between Isa and Felda director, Dzulkifli Abdul Wahab. Isa was accused of abusing his power to push out Dzulkfli as chairman of Koperasi Permodalan Felda or KPF, the profit-making arm of Felda, and taking over the post for himself.

Isa appointed himself during a board meeting at the end of Ramadan. Furthermore, KPF only accepts settlers and Felda staff as members and although Isa is chairman of the main Felda body, he is not considered an eligible staff for KPF membership. His strong-arm tactics stirred suspicion that somthing was up.

Since then, Najib has announced the listing of Felda Global Ventures on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange. KPF is set to become the largest shareholder in the listed Felda company, which may the reason why Isa has fought to push Dzulkifli off the board in a move that allegedly has the sanction from Najib himself.

Massive losses in Felda Global's overseas investments

Anwar has previously warned of massive losses suffered by Felda Global Ventures, and pointed to a huge RM6billion loan taken quietly from the Employees Provident Fund, which many believed may have been used to cover up for the losses made by Felda Global Ventures in its overseas inestment.

Anwar and Hadi are expected to reveal more information on the listing, KPF and Isa's role to 'protect' Najib at the launching on Tuesday.

KPF has 112,635 settlers as members, and there is fear they may end up trapped in a shareholding that was not easily marketable or saleable, due to the murkiness that surround Felda Global's foreign deals.

"The cooperative will ensure that settlers benefit from the listing," Isa has insisted.

Petition, tribunal and prayers

Meanwhile, according to ANAK President, Mazlan Aliman, the coalition will collect signatures of Felda settlers in every state who disagree with Isa’s appointment as chairman of both Felda, the parent body, and KPF, the co-op arm.

ANAK is now trying to organise KPF shareholders in demanding that the Suruhanjaya Koperasi Malaysia (SKM) or the co-operatives commission to set up a tribunal with regards to Dzulkifli's ouster.

Isa's appointment allegedly went against the Cooperatives Acts, Regulations and Laws, which states that such appointments must be conducted at a general meeting and not just at a board meeting, giving grounds for his critics to demand his remoal.

“Shareholders will be delivering their Objection Form to the Commission in order for a tribunal be done on the appointment of Isa. That is the procedure,” said Mazlan.

“We will collect settlers’ signatures who against the appointment of Isa and will submit it to the Prime Minister when his (Isa) contract is finished. We are driven to this issue not on the basis of politics but the livelihood of the settlers who have long been exploited and misinformed.”

Abolish ISA will also organize a series of solat hajat (special prayers) to pray for Felda settlers and that they will be spared any harm from those with vested interests, said Mazlan.

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