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Felda revokes power of attorney it gave to developer

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KUALA LUMPUR – January 12, 2018: Felda has sent a letter to Synergy Promenade Sdn. Bhd. (SPSB) to revoke the power of attorney (PoA) it granted the developer of a project on the agency’s land on Jalan Semarak.

The move was made on the fifth day of an external audit ordered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to get to the bottom of the deal which has been described by some newspapers as dubious.

According to the letter, Felda claims that SPSB has, since it was given the PoA on June 3, 2014, committed several undisclosed fraudulent acts.

“We hereby give you notice in writing that you are to forthwith and immediately cease from acting and holding out in any capacity under the disputed PoA and demand the original of the same to be returned to us for due cancellation immediately.

“Since the alleged PoA is invalid ab initio, we will not ratify any act or acts that you may have done under the disputed PoA and in any event we hold you and each and every one of your directors, agents and/or servants personally or jointly liable for any claim arising or may arise therefrom,” read the January 9 letter signed by Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.

When contacted for confirmation of the revocation, a Felda official wrote the following WhatsApp message:

Felda has taken all steps as per stated in the Felda BoD’s decision on December 11 and the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) letter to Felda on the same date.

1. Make a police report.

2. Apply for a Registrar’s Caveat on all the land involved under the SPSB SPAs of December 2015 and November 2016.

3. Apply to revoke the PoA

4. A civil suit against SPSB re the transfer of the land to itself and SPKLVC.

5. PMD to appoint an audit firm to conduct a forensic audit on the whole process.

Felda has done the police report and the police is investigating. Felda has put all the land under Registrar’s Caveat. The forensic audit has started. The rest is underway.

The deal brokered between SPSB and Felda’s subsidiary, Felda Investment Corporation (FIC), began to hog the limelight about two weeks ago after the Berita Harian newspaper published a report suggesting that corruption was involved leading to the KL Vertical City project there arising from the land deal.

Despite Felda’s claim that SPSB had abused the PoA, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal said Felda was in fact the party which had awarded SPSB with a full PoA.

When matters concerning the revocation of the PoA were brought to the attention of lawyers, they pointed out that Felda may have just opened itself to a possible lawsuit.

“They cannot do it willy-nilly. Since Felda is the one that accused SPSB of committing fraud by virtue of the PA, then they need to prove it in court. Until they do so, the revocation of the PoA cannot be exercised,” said one lawyer who asked not to be identified.

The lawyers however do not think the revocation of the PoA cannot be done in view of the ongoing audit and police investigation, with one saying Felda does have the prerogative to do so.

“But by revoking the PoA, Felda can be perceived as doing an implied admission that they are pretty much aware of the deal which they were reported to be in the dark until three years ago

“Also, the revocation does not carry any retrospective effect, which means Felda cannot claim that such a revocation can nullify whatever dealings SPSB has done,” said the lawyer.

The Mole had two days ago reported that contrary to claims by the present Felda management, the previous board of directors was well aware of the deals with SPSB.

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Zaidi Azmi and Ahirul Ahirudin