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Friday, June 25, 2010

Felda reserves plunge: RM8b or RM2.7b?

PAS central committee member Husam Musa today claimed that the plunge in the Federal Land Development Authority's (Felda) reserves could be triple than that revealed by the government.

This is because the figures given by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Maslan in Parliament assume that the statutory body did not make any revenue from 2005 to 2009, he said in his latest blog post.

"Based on the information that I received, Felda had generated revenue of RM5.2 billion from 2005 and 2009," he said.

husam musa bangsar 080408 rightThis means that its reserves have dropped by about RM8 billion from 2004 to 2009 and not RM2.7 billion, the figure given by Ahmad.

Husam (left), who is also a state exco member of Kelantan, also questioned the RM2 billion paid by Felda for 'replanting' which was taken out from the reserves.

According to Husam, Felda should have used their 'Replanting Fund' which was expected to contain about RM1 billion as a result of a contribution of RM4 per acre from small holders.

He also questioned the body's investments overseas, raising doubts over the profitability of multi-million ringgit ventures in the US and Canada.

"We don't want it to be like the motor company which Proton once bought only to be sold off for a mere one euro.

"Is there a black hole in Felda? It's a mystery, but how can therakyat get to the bottom of this?" Husam asked.

Felda 'back hole'

Felda has been in the spotlight ever since when former deputy minister of land and cooperatives from 1999 to 2004, Tan Kee Kwong, in an open letter, alleged mismanagement and questionable practices in the organisation.

Tan, who is now a member of the opposition PKR, publicly accused Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of 'single-handedly destroying' Felda's prudent management and the siphoning away of its wealth.

Last Wednesday, Ahmad refuted Tan's allegations saying that the missing funds were used for welfare purposes.

azlan"The government did not embezzle the money, it was distributed for public welfare," said Ahmad to questions from both the government and opposition bench.

On Thursday, president of PAS-linked Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan or National Association of the Children of Felda Settlers (Anak), Mazlan Aliman, lodged a police report against both the prime minister and Ahmad over the latter's explantion in Parliament which he said did not make sense.

This followed an earlier move by PKR Klang MP Charles Santiago who lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe the alleged irregularities in Felda.

In latest developments today, Felda announced it will file adefamation suit against PKR organ Suara Keadilan and party's leaders who were behind its 'Felda Bankrupt' article.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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