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Monday, January 30, 2017

Shahrir agrees Felda 'in danger'

Newly-appointed Federal Land Authority (Felda) chairperson Shahrir Abdul Samad agrees that the federal agency "is in danger".
In an interview with Sinar Harian, Shahrir said it was a part of his evaluation and consideration in accepting the position to replace Isa Samad.
"I got the impression that it (Felda) is in danger. I accept those views," he reportedly said.
However, he dismissed concerns that Felda going bankrupt, in reference to sales of its assets overseas.
"It will only go bankrupt if you ask the opposition. All this while, we buy and save, buy and save.
"So today we need to generate income, we liquidate, we sell, and not because we are going bankrupt.
"If we are going bankrupt, we will sell the house that we are living in, but this is not the situation," he said.
Shahrir had on Jan 17 announced that Felda will sell a hotel it owns in London to generate more cash.
The announcement, which was a part of Felda's re-evaluation of its offshore assets, comes as it lets go of its choice stake in Maybank worth about RM280 million.
Shahrir also defended Felda's controversial purchase of Indonesia's PT Eagle High as an investment.
Among others, he pointed out that Felda has bought a majority 37 per cent stake in the company with 125,000 hectares of land, planted with palm oil which on average has reached a mature age of seven years old.
"So when it reaches seven years old, from eight to 20 years old, it will give the maximum yield," he said.
Shahrir said the purchase was made using a government fund of US$500 million but insisted that the opposition had in the past used the same figure to protest the purchase of FGV shares.
"Maybe it will be used as fodder for the election campaigns.
"That is true but if when the option arises there is already a reasonable dividend returns, then this is a good opportunity," he said.
The Johor Baru MP said he accepted the position on condition that Felda's management is separated from its subsidiary Felda Global Ventures (FGV).
He said Felda has successfully played a social and economic role in uplifting the Malay community especially in the rural areas.
'I'm no Superman'
PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli had previously said that prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's sudden announcement of Shahrir's appointment as Felda chairperson only confirms the various issues raised on its finances.
In fact, Rafizi said neither Felda nor Shahrir's predecessor had officially refuted his series of exposes, including on the agency's current state of income.
"I would also like to remind that he (Shahrir) cannot wash his hands off the damages which has been done to Felda," said Rafizi.

Commenting further, Shahrir said he is not a superhero who could guarantee that all corruption within Felda will be eradicated.
"I am not Superman. It's not me. I only provide my leadership because of my role as chairperson.
"Like I have said, Felda has its own strength, but I need to make this organisation realise (its strength) and not be afraid," he said.- Mkini

1 comment:

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