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Friday, June 25, 2010

Felda to sue over Suara Keadilan article

The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) will file a defamation suit against PKR organ Suara Keadilan and those of the party's leaders, reporters and editors who were behind its 'Felda Bankrupt' article.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Maslan said that the article - which was published in the weekly's June 22-29, 2010, edition - was incorrect and replete with "blatant lies".

NONE"We will sue all these parties for at least a few hundreds of million (of ringgit) for the damage that they have caused in publishing the article," he told a press conference at the Felda headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

The deputy minister said further that the people quoted in the article and the journalists involved in the piece should be made responsible for their actions.

He named Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, PKR supreme council members Zaid Ibrahim, former land and cooperative development deputy minister and Gerakan-turned-PKR man Tan Kee Kwong, Suara Keadilan's editors and owners and PAS' Kuala Terengganu MP Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut as some of the parties to be sued.

Ahmad (middle in photo) said the recent attacks against Felda could be motivated by the fact that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was heading the government body.

“Their real target is the prime minister. That's why they are spreading these lies,” he explained.

'How can we be bankrupt?'

That Felda settlers are among the ruling BN's traditional source of support also may have motivated the opposition to zero in on Felda, he added.

“They (the opposition) are jealous of our success. We have 23,000 office staff and 40,000 staff working in our plantations. We are providing for 1.6 million people. How can we be bankrupt?" he asked.

He further explained that Felda, being one of the largest landowners in the world, owned a total of 340,000 acres of farms which brings in an average net profit of RM1.1 billion over the past six years.

"Felda has investments in Indonesia, South Africa, China, Turkey, America, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, Thailand, France, India and United Arab Emirates. Felda has a very strong financial standing," he claimed.

Ahmad also revealed that Felda's current net profit is RM12.2 billion.

"The headline is very inaccurate. It said 'Felda Bankrupt' and full stop. If there is a question mark at the end, it would not be so bad. This is clearly a lie!" he added.

The opposition has recently questioned Felda over a sudden dip of RM2.7 billion in its cash reserves - from RM4.08 billion in 2004 to RM1.35 billion last year.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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