PETALING JAYA: The ousting of Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak Mentri Besar may be the result of a few matters in the past that upset Umno, claims Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic).
The former prime minister said two transgressions that stood out the most were the sale of a 15,000-hectare state-owned oil palm plantation in Indonesia through direct negotiations and the appointment of an Umno assemblyman as Ahmad Faizal's political secretary.
Najib said in 2019, the late Slim assemblyman, Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib warned the Pakatan Harapan state government to not sell the PT Pinang plantation in Palembang at a low price to Singapore-based Taiko Plantations Ltd as it generated huge profits, amounting to about RM40mil each year, for the state government.
"The late assemblyman mentioned that the plantation is valued at RM1.03bil.
"However, even after Perikatan Nasional took over following the fall of Pakatan, the sale still went through despite palm oil prices having now reached RM3,400 per tonne compared with between RM1,800 and RM2,000 last year.
"The plantation's selling price announced in April after Perikatan took over was RM342mil or only 35% of the original price, ” Najib claimed in a post on Facebook.
Khusairi once served as Ladang Lekir Sdn Bhd (LLSS) chairman before Ahmad Faizal took over the post in 2018.
LLSS, which owned the plantation, is a subsidiary of the Perak State Agricultural Development Corp (SADC).
In April, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) announced it was buying a 60% stake in PT Pinang to boost its plantation landbank.
The company said it would be buying the stake through its Singapore-based wholly-owned unit Taiko Plantations.
Najib said another reason that might have led to Ahmad Faizal's downfall is the appointment of an Umno assemblyman as his political secretary.
He said Perak Umno had become cautious of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia when it took a few of its assemblymen after the 14th general election.
"That's why an agreement was made after Perikatan took over the state government in March and one of the terms was that any political appointment must get prior consent from the respective parties," he said.
Najib said Umno had warned Ahmad Faizal several times to not appoint an Umno assemblyman as his political secretary, but he ignored the warnings.
Najib also dismissed allegations that Umno had conspired with PKR and DAP to bring down Ahmad Faizal, saying that Pakatan itself had been waiting for Ahmad Faizal's downfall because they too felt betrayed.
"Pakatan had been waiting for the right opportunity to bring down the Mentri Besar because he had also taken a few Pakatan assemblymen in February.
"This is why Pakatan in Perak did not support him when a vote of confidence was called in the state assembly," he said.
On Friday (Dec 4), Ahmad Faizal lost a motion of confidence in him as the Perak Mentri Besar at the state assembly.
He received 10 votes in favour, while 48 voted against him, and one abstained in the 59-seat assembly.
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