Dr M ‘not aware’ of any FGV sale to Syed Mokhtar

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he was not aware of any discussions about a stake in Felda-owned FGV Holdings Bhd being sold to prominent tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, as alleged by a Pakatan Harapan leader.

He said if at all discussions took place, it would have involved Felda and Syed Mokhtar and did not involve the government. “It is Felda’s job not mine,” he told reporters here. (Felda owns 33.7% of the company, which is a global agri-business conglomerate.

A member of the Amanah central committee, Mazlan Aliman, had spoken about the FGV sale while delivering a winding-up speech at the Amanah national convention in Shah Alam, today.

Asked further about the allegation, Mahathir said he was also unsure if Felda really intended to sell part of its stakes in FGV (formerly Felda Global Ventures Holdings), but would not object should the sale benefit Felda and the government.

“If just giving I’ll oppose, but if selling a lot of money will be made for the government. The government wants money. What we can sell, we sell. As long as we don’t sell Malaysia.

“I don’t know if Felda wants to sell or not. But when it comes to selling government property we have always been doing it. The thing is, we have a lot of land which we are unable to develop, so if people want to buy, want to develop, I guess it is ok,” he said.

Commenting further, the prime minister said it was common practice in the world of business for any company to be sold to another party in the event of a loss.

“FGV has incurred exceptionally high losses, usually if a company incurs losses its closes down or sells to another company,” he said.

When it was established the FGV shares were priced at more than RM4 but now it is only at more than RM1, thereby causing huge losses to Felda settlers who had taken bank loans to buy the shares, said the prime minister, adding that the government should help them.