'Luxurious projects and inflated contracts' under BN caused Felda woes

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Apr 2019

PETALING JAYA: Various luxurious projects and inflated contracts (Projek Mewah dan Kontrak Melambung) were entered into by Felda under the previous government, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Party Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president said many of these contracts were the source of Felda’s current financial problems.

“It is because of this that Felda has to seek the government’s help to keep it afloat.

“The government is considering Felda’s request for capital injection of RM6bil for the sake of more than 120,000 Felda settlers,” he said in a statement on Thursday (April 11).

To understand Felda’s problems, the government had to engage accounting firm Messrs EY to conduct a forensic audit, he added.

“Felda also consulted legal firm Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. The findings by the two consultants confirmed that Felda had been a victim of frauds and corporate breaches.

“Consistent with the forensic audit, Felda director-general Datuk Dr Othman Omar lodged two police reports on Eagle High Plantation Investment (EHP) and the KLVertical City Project (KLVC), which showed criminal misconducts resulting in Felda suffering billions of ringgit's worth of losses,” he said.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Home Minister, said he had directed the police to investigate the reports professionally and without fear or favour.

Meanwhile, he said former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak had issued statements that were calculated to confuse the public, especially the Malays and Felda Settlers.

“He said the EHP was a strategic investment good for Felda and the country. It is certainly not strategic to buy at over 300% more than the actual price.

“It is illogical and foolish to say that. What Felda bought for RM2.5bil is now worth only RM500mil. Felda is bleeding RM2bil,” he said.

Najib’s statement that Felda could get out of the EHP investment anytime and make a 6% gain because of a put option is also a lie, Muhyiddin said.

“Felda tried to exercise the put option mentioned by Najib, but was prevented from doing so. Rajawali (PT Rajawali Capital) has commenced arbitration against Felda in Singapore.

“The arbitration is confidential, and I cannot comment more.

But the fact is Felda cannot exercise the put option so easily, the way Najib puts it,” he said.

The government was committed to exposing and holding to account the culprits who caused the losses to Felda, Muhyiddin added.

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