KUALA LUMPUR: The revelation that the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) incurred massive losses prompted Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make a rare interjection and to chide an opposition lawmaker in Parliament.
During the debate on the Felda White Paper on Wednesday (April 10), Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) claimed that Felda had always been profitable and only suffered losses after Pakatan Harapan took over the government.
Ahmad went on to present about 10 points to further improve and revive Felda, among them bringing in factories to Felda areas to stop settlers from moving out.
A bemused Dr Mahathir then stood up and calmly interjected.
"As the lawmaker for Langkawi, I am amazed by the fairy tales being presented.
"What I am puzzled (about) is why he (Ahmad) didn't tell all of this to his former 'bossku' (former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) so we would not have had these problems and there would not be any White Paper on the matter.
"However, some penyangak-penyangak (crooks) have left their mark, and that is what we are left with to clean up," said Dr Mahathir.
He asked if Felda's FGV Holdings Bhd (formerly known as Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd), had indeed made huge profits, where did the alleged "billions" then go?
"Please show us where the money is," he added.
To this, Ahmad said he was rather flattered that the Prime Minister himself responded to his comments.
He said he did not have a bone to pick with Dr Mahathir.
"Of the many human beings I know, the one I do not want to be controversial with is Langkawi (Dr Mahathir)," said Ahmad.
He then insisted that FGV had always been profitable and the figures could be checked as they had been made public.
He also claimed that the nation's debt only increased after Pakatan took over.