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Lack of transparency causes scepticism over Felda land issue

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Ahirine Ahirudin
Written by Ahirine Ahirudin

KUALA LUMPUR — January 16, 2018: The many sceptical comments in social media on the now-resolved Felda land issue has led analysts to conclude that the controversy should have been addressed transparently.

One said that the scepticism was mainly due to the limited information made available pertaining to the contentious transfer of the agency’s land on Jalan Semarak.

Stressing that the slew of remarks was a no-brainer, geo-strategist Dr. Azmi Hassan said Felda should have made public the supposedly lopsided agreement in its entirety.

“If the KLVC (Kuala Lumpur Vertical City) is a JV (joint venture) between Felda and Synergy Promenade Sdn. Bhd., the terms should be made known so as to eliminate hearsay by the public,” he suggested.

Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad yesterday announced that Felda had successfully recovered its ownership of 16 plots of land there at no cost.

Shahrir also confirmed that the police investigation and external audit will proceed to determine if there’s any wrongdoing involving the transfer of land worth an estimated RM200 million .

Where some lauded Shahrir for solving the issue, others were sceptical, insisting that it was a mere charade by the Barisan Nasional government to score some brownie points.

Shamsul Kamal (@sam91383852) said in his Twitter account, “Will this be another #1MDB investigation? Your words mean nothing. Just empty promises. We will believe it when someone actually gets charged which I don’t think will ever happen. Prove me wrong.”

Another netizen, Eddy Daud (@eddydaud) believes that the land recovery by Felda was just a “drama” staged to help BN wins the coming 14th general election (GE14).

“Quite obvious, and they are doing so thinking that Felda people are easy to be fooled to accept whatever they say. I think they are seriously mistaken,” he wrote.

When the matter was brought to his attention, Associate Professor Dr. Jeniri Amir, who is a University Malaysia Sarawak senior lecturer, said insufficient explanation on how Felda got the land back is the reason why people are still sceptical.

“Felda is a very big issue. Citizens don’t believe the government is trying to solve this problem. It’s not easy to get back the land.

“Someone who has the credibility in Felda should explain this issue thoroughly to the people so as to avoid controversies like this in future. Since Felda has been entangled in this sort of controversial issues, it won’t be easy for people to just swallow the outcome of this one,” said Jeniri.

However, Md. Shukri Shuib, a political analyst at Universiti Utara Malaysia, believes that Felda has done all it can to reclaim ownership of the land.

 

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Ahirine Ahirudin

Ahirine Ahirudin