KUALA LUMPUR — Dec. 27, 2017: Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad is certain that efforts to regain the Felda-owned land here which was transferred through dubious means will be the final step in striving to put the agency on the right track.
In an interview with Bernama, Shahrir said other issues which had derailed Felda are being handled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the courts.
“It is right to say that this land issue on (Jalan) Semarak will be the last. In fact this is the most complex issue. Other issues were the purchase of the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel and the Merdeka Palace Hotel and Suites in Kuching which are ongoing.
“In these cases arrests have been made and the MACC conducted investigations. This land deal which was recently opened will be the last issue. All these were uncovered during my first year as Felda chairman,” he said.
Since his appointment last January 6, several actions had been taken to restructure the Felda management and assets and strengthen its financial position.
Among the steps taken were calling for the resignation of all Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) board members in January and the sale of assets including luxury cars and the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London.
Shahrir remarked that when he became chairman, both the settlers and banks had no confidence in Felda, making it difficult to get financing.
“Looking at this situation, we decided to sell off unnecessary assets. What’s important is for us to stabilise Felda’s finances immediately. Following this, in June, Maybank offered Felda the sukuk issuance. I did not believe it at first but this was a sign of the bank’s confidence in Felda,” he said.
In addition, Shahrir also asked board members who were responsible to provide clarification on the granting of full power of attorney to Synergy Promede Sdn. Bhd. which was not reported to the board in relation to the land deals.
“Why was the decision made without the board’s approval but was only endorsed after that when this is a grave matter. Why was full power of attorney given to this company? This is doubtful because the decision was made even before the board meeting,” said Shahrir.
According to records, the full power of attorney was granted on June 3, 2014, and was only reported to the board on September of the same year.
“People outside Felda were not aware of what was happening within the agency. We got news on the land ownership transfer at the end of January this year. From then on we carefully devised a plan on how to handle the situation as it involved several parties, including government departments and staff.
“The Attorney General’s Chambers’ came on strongly advising us to revoke the PA and lodge a registrar’s caveat. We have worked towards that direction,” he said.