KUALA LUMPUR: Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad has called on the board of directors responsible to clarify the granting of the full power of attorney (PA) to Synergy Promede Sdn Bhd in an alleged dubious land transaction involving four plots in Jalan Semarak.
In a special interview, Shahrir said this was not reported to the board itself.
“Why was the decision made without the board’s approval but only endorsed after that when this is a grave matter? Why was full power of attorney given to this company? This is doubtful because the decision was made even before the board meeting,” said Shahrir.
According to records, the full power of attorney was granted on June 3, 2014, but only reported to the board on Sept 2 in the same year.
“People outside Felda were not aware of what was happening within the agency. We got news on the land ownership transfer at the end of January this year.
“From then on, we carefully devised a plan on how to handle the situation as it involved several parties, including government departments and staff.
“The Attorney General’s Chambers strongly advised us to revoke the PA and lodge a registrar’s caveat. We have worked towards that direction,” he said.
Shahrir said efforts to regain Felda-owned land was the final step in trying to put the agency back on the right track.
Other issues which had derailed Felda, he said, were being handled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the court.
“It is right to say that this land issue in (Jalan) Semarak will be the last. In fact, this is the most complex issue. Other issues were the purchase of the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel and the Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites in Kuching which are ongoing.
“In these cases, arrests have been made and the MACC has carried out investigation. This land deal which was recently opened will be the last issue. All these were uncovered during my first year as Felda chairman,” he said.
Since his appointment on Jan 6, Shahrir said he had taken several steps to restructure Felda management and assets, and strengthen its financial position.
Among these were calling for the resignation of all Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) board members in January and the sale of assets, including luxury cars and the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London.
Shahrir said that when he took over the helm in January, besides the settlers, the banks had no confidence in Felda and that it was difficult to get financial funding as they demanded higher levels of collateral.
“Looking at this situation, we decided to sell off unnecessary assets. What’s important is for us to stabilise Felda’s finances immediately. Following this in June, Maybank offered Felda the sukuk issuance. I did not believe it at first but this was a sign of the bank’s confidence in Felda,” he said. — Bernama