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Felda shares ‘reserved’ for Umno cronies

 | May 28, 2012

PKR claims that Umno cronies and Felda employees will receive more shares than settlers.

UPDATED

PETALING JAYA: PKR claimed today Putrajaya has earmarked more shares for rich Umno cronies than settlers in the planned controversial initial public offering (IPO) of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd (FGVH).

Party investment and trade bureau chief Wong Chen said data gathered from Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI) showed 11.5% or 420 million shares have been allocated for “MITI approved bumiputera investors”.

Wong said these investors would likely be well-connected businessmen.

Shares allocated for settlers only stood at 2.5% or 91 million shares, almost 300 million less than those reserved for the said segment according to MITI’s investors prospectus published on its website.

It further stated that criteria for applicants under this segment is an individual investor must at least have RM3 million in assets while a company must be 100% bumiputera-owned with RM10 million in assets.

Shortchanged

“Who are these special bumiputeras that deserve 4.6 times larger allocation than all the settlers collectively? What have they ever done to help develop Felda?

“As such we demand that MITI produces a complete disclosure list of bumiputera investors and beneficial owners of this IPO,” Wong said in a press conference held at the the party’s headquarters here.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the IPO is expected to raise RM10.2 billion and will become the world’s second-largest this year and the third-largest on record for Malaysia.

Putrajaya is currently forging ahead with Felda’s controversial planned public listing despite criticism from some settlers and the opposition who claim that it will shortchange some 112,000 Felda settlers nationwide.

Najib has assured Felda settlers that the listing would yield profits, and has announced a RM1.69 billion windfall for all settlers and staff throughout the country, ahead of the FGVH listing.

Enriching the rich

But Wong said the way the shares are allocated “clearly shows that the PM is more interested in helping the rich”.

MITI’s FGHV prospectus indicated the shares reserved for Felda employees are still more than that slotted for the 112,635 settlers or 109 million shares or 3% of the total IPO.

“Why are settlers getting less shares than the 3,835 employees of Felda? Assuming a 100% take up rate, each settler will only get 810 shares whereas each employee of Felda will get 28,368 shares,” he said.

Wong said Najib must respect the spirit of Felda which is to help landless bumiputera poor and withdraw the allocation meant for rich bumiputeras.

“We also ask the employees allocation to be appropriately reduced in favour of settlers,” the PKR added.

MITI minister: Fair procedure

Later today, MITI minister Mustapa Mohamed, however, said the bumiputera shares allocation was a “normal procedure”.

He added that the list of bumiputera firms approved by his ministry was “nothing special and followed current regulations”.

This is to allow a fare spread of earnings from the IPO.

“A good chunk is reserved for settlers but the spread has to be there. Others must have the chance to earn from the shares,” he was reported as saying.

Also read:

Felda IPO ‘selling off’ Malay land


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