The recent appointment of Isa Samad as head of the Felda Settlers’ Cooperative (KPF by its Malay acronym) is ‘illegal’ as he is not even eligible for membership in the society, according to PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.
Saifuddin (left), who claimed to be citing sources within the national plantations giant, said the KPF board of directors had approved Isa’s inclusion in the board without taking into account the rules and regulations governing cooperatives.
He said the KPF management, which is unhappy with the allegedly arbitrary appointment, has sought the advice of the Malaysian Cooperatives Commission (SKM) on the matter.
“It (SKM) stated that any appointment to the board of any cooperative is subject to provisions under the Cooperatives Act 1993 and By-Laws,” Saifuddin told Malaysiakini.
“Since the Act and By-Laws state that only (cooperative) members who have been in (the society) for two years would qualify as board members, his appointment is also subject to this provision.”
It is understood that an application to place Isa (right) - also Felda chairperson - on the KPF board and to make him the cooperative’s chairperson was approved at a special board meeting on June 22.
This allegedly created confusion as, despite the board’s decision, Felda general manager and the previous KPF chair Zukifli Wahab had chaired a board meeting on Sept 8 to discuss his replacement by Isa.
This was despite the absence of clear indication as to whether Isa’s appointment had indeed taken effect.
Pro-Felda settlers’ NGO Anak believes that Isa’s appointment as KPF chairperson was done with bigger plans in mind, which is to support the government’s plan to list Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH) on Bursa Malaysia next year.
Anak chairperson Mazlan Aliman(left) said KPF holds a 51 percent stake worth some RM350 million in Felda Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is slated to be used to prop up FGVH’s attempt to list on the stock exchange.
Mazlan claimed further that Isa had allegedly put up some 367,000 ha of estate land as a guarantee to raise funds for FGHV’s impending foray into Bursa Malaysia, estimating that it could raise between RM5 billion to RM6 billion in capital.
The land is scattered across the country, with the largest tract in the Felda Sabahat estate in Lahad Datu, Sabah, accounting for some 100,000ha, Mazlan said.
“Why are they taking KPF assets? Why are they taking all this land? Because FGVH has no money. Their overseas investments have failed. They have gone to Canada, they have gone to China, and they have failed.
“I don’t know how the prime minister can have such faith in an even bigger investment plan that will go to 13 countries... this is how the settlers are being betrayed by Isa, who had been mandated by the prime minister and (deputy Minister in charge of Felda) Ahmad Maslan (to run Felda).”
Mazlan stressed that Anak is opposed to plans to list FGVH on Bursa Malaysia, and will soon come up with a memorandum in protest of the move.