Commentary Local

The “Um, actually….” late night press conference

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

February 11, 2018

A Youth’s Take – A weekly column by Zaidi Azmi

THREE days ago, Felda did what can only be described as one big “Um, actually…

To the unfamiliar, “Um, actually” is a turn of phrase often used by nerds before correcting someone else.

And yes, it is super annoying when you’re at the receiving end.

But back to Felda.

So at a ridiculously timed press conference –scheduled for 10 but delayed by 45 minutes– the agency’s chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad essentially said that Felda still hadn’t regained ownership of its land on Jalan Semarak.

Wait. What!?

Wasn’t Shahrir the one who stated on January 15 that Felda had in fact regained ownership of the land that had been mired in controversy since last year?

“Um, actually…” what Felda gained on that day were the grants for 16 plots of land.

At this late night press conference Shahrir explained that what he said on January 15 was something that inched Felda closer towards retrieving ownership.

“I did not say that the plots had been registered under Felda’s name.

“If you look at my January 15 press statement, I wrote that what was gained will facilitate in registering the land under Felda’s name.

“But what was reported became another story,” said Shahrir, adding that Felda is unable to do anything with the land as it is still under a registrar’s caveat.

So basically the media, it appeared, misreported the January 15 news item but Felda waited until February 8 to ‘um, actually…

Since Shahrir sort of asked journalists to take a look at his January 15 press statement we’ll do just that:

Kuala Lumpur – Isnin, 15 Januari, 2018: “Felda hari ini mengesahkan bahawa ia telah mendapat kembali hak milik tanah di Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur, selepas satu perjanjian persefahaman ditandatangani antara Felda dan Synergy Promenade Sdn. Bhd.”

Below is an English translation of the above:

Kuala Lumpur – Monday, 15 January 2018: “Felda today confirms that it has regained ownership of the Jalan Semarak land, Kuala Lumpur, after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Felda and Synergy Promenade Sdn. Bhd.”

The fifth paragraph gives a similar impression as the lead paragraph:

Rentetan daripada usaha-usaha yang dilaksanakan oleh Felda pada hari ini, 15 Januari 2018, pihak pemaju iaitu SPSB telah secara sukarela bersetuju mengembalikan hak milik kesemua 16 lot tanah itu kepada Felda tanpa kos dan telah menyerahkan kesemua suratan hak milik tersebut untuk didaftarkan semula ke atas nama Felda.

Literally translated: “Following efforts by Felda, on this day, 15 January 2018, the developer which is SPSB has voluntarily agreed to return ownership of the 16 plots of land to Felda without cost and has handed over all ownership documents to be registered under Felda.”

So the media was at fault and had misreported?

A picture of Felda's January 15 press statement.

A picture of Felda’s January 15 press statement.





About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at