PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today accused Najib Razak of trying to confuse the public, especially the Malays and Felda settlers, about the problems faced by the government agency.
In a statement, Muhyiddin, who is PPBM president, said many of Felda’s financial problems stemmed from the various “luxurious projects and exaggerated contracts” taken under Najib’s administration.
He said forensic audits commissioned by Putrajaya found that Felda was a victim of fraud and corporate breaches, which was why Felda’s director-general Othman Omar lodged two police reports on the Eagle High Plantation (EHP) investment and the KLVertical City Project (KLVC).
Criminal misconduct in these two cases, Muhyiddin said, cost Felda to suffer billions of ringgit in losses.
“As home minister, I have directed the police to investigate this professionally and without fear or favour,” he added.
He accused Najib of issuing “calculated statements” to confuse the public, such as describing EHP as a strategic investment 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 RM2.5 billion is now worth only RM500 million.”
The Pagoh MP also accused Najib of lying by claiming that Felda could get out of the EHP investment and make a 6% profit due to the put option in the agreement.
He said Felda had tried to exercise the put option but was prevented from doing so by the Rajawali Group, which owns EHP and has commenced legal action against the agency in Singapore.
He said he could not elaborate further as the arbitration is confidential.
“But the fact is, Felda cannot exercise the put option so easily, the way Najib puts it.
“We all know that in corporate fraud, the culprits will hide their hands and will make it appear as if it is a genuine commercial transaction.”
Muhyiddin said the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government is committed to exposing those who caused losses to Felda and holding them accountable.
Najib previously urged the government to reveal the agreement between Felda and EHP after the agency claimed it was cheated by the former prime minister into investing in EHP.
Othman said the amount paid to acquire a 37% stake in EHP was 344% more than its actual value of US$114 million.