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Felda: Govt’s move will have negative impact

 | February 23, 2012

PKR also dared Putrajaya to a debate on the issue to clarify the pressing matters to the settlers over the move to list FGVH.

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya’s move to grab the majority stake in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) will only affect the plantation giant’s value negatively, said PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli today.

The Najib administration had recently announced that Felda, one of the world’s biggest plantation companies, will acquire 51% of its shares through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

This was akin to snubbing the Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF) and ignoring the court injunction that temporary blocked the shares transfer from the co-operative to FGVH, a key move to Putrajaya’s aim to list Felda’s commercial arm.

“If the listing of FGVH is carried out without asset injection from Felda Holdings Berhad due to the court action by the settlers, the listing value will be lower, around RM3 billion, not RM21 billion as mentioned by the government,” Rafizi told a press conference here.

The court injunction was given following legal action taken by some settlers and forced KPH to cancel yesterday’s planned extraordinary general meeting to allow the share transfer to take place.

However, Felda’s Umno chairman Isa Samad then announced the SPV which will take a majority stake in FGVH, claiming it will safeguard the interest of some 112,000 settlers.

Rafizi alleged that the SPV’s formation proved Putrajaya’s disregard for the welfare of settlers.

He also claimed that the move was targeted at decreasing settlers-controlled KPH’s powerful role in Felda.

“Felda Holdings Bhd is actually the real cash cow and not FGVH… that is their real interest,” he pointed out, adding that FGVH’s international subsidiaries recorded losses up to RM500 million till last year.

Debate on Felda

Rafizi dared Putrajaya to a debate on the issue which he said was the best way to clarify the pressing matters to the settlers who he said are now anxious over the move to list FGVH.

He urged Isa and deputy minister in charge of Felda Ahmad Maslan to debate with him, National Felda Settlers’ Children’s Association (ANAK) head Mazlan Aliman or PKR Felda bureau chief Suhaimi Said on the subject.

Earlier this week, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin charged that the plan to list Felda was to enrich Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s circle, citing the employment of Ethos Consultancy to advice the firm.

Ethos’s main man is Omar Mustapha Ong, a former special officer to Najib and is known to be the brains behind the premier’s corporate moves.

PKR leaders demanded Najib to explain Omar’s role in Felda and suggested that the latter may have a hand in the plan to list the plantation firm.

The profitable Felda Holdings has a workforce of some 19,000 employees, with a labour force of 46,795 workers in 300 estates, 70 palm oil mills, seven refineries, four kernel-crushing plants, 13 rubber factories, manufacturing plants and several logistic and bulking installations spread throughout Malaysia and several locations overseas.

The government has said the move will result in a RM5.9 billion lump-sum payment to settlers but the ANAK has insisted it will not be in cash but shares in FGVH.


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