More police reports to be lodged over Felda scandal soon.
- Losses the result of crime, not plain negligence
- Government has no choice but to inject RM6.23 billion
- Selling off assets to strengthen financial position
- Hope to improve financial position within five years
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said police involvement will be sought shortly over the alleged mismanagement of the Federal Land Development Authority’s (Felda) that wiped billions from its coffers.
The economic affairs minister who tabled a White Paper on the matter in Parliament today confirmed the reports will be lodged once the federal government scrutinises the forensic audit reports on Felda that were presented to the Cabinet.
“Yes, certainly. There will be more police reports to be lodged after the tabling of the White Paper.
“We are going through the forensic report and many names have cropped up in this investigation. We will make police reports so further investigation can be done and action can be taken.
“These are criminal acts, not just negligence. A criminal act that involves billions of ringgit of the people’s money,” he said.
He asserted that the losses were the result of crime and not plain negligence.
“We will ensure all those culprits be brought to justice and to ensure no more abuse of power or mismanagement within Felda,” he said.
Among disclosures in the White Paper today was Felda’s cash position that was now down to just RM35 million from up to RM2.5 billion previously.
The agency is also alleged to have squandered RM2.7 billion raised from the market listing of FGVH to buy political support for the previous administration in general elections.
Felda’s dire finances will now require an RM6.3 billion infusion from the federal government to help it navigate its liabilities.
Yesterday, Felda director-general Datuk Othman Omar lodged a police report alleging that the agency was misled into overpaying for a 37 per cent stake in Eagle High Plantations PTK (EHP) in 2015.
His report accused former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of ordering the RM2.3 billion purchase for the stake he insisted was only worth RM440 million at the time.
Meanwhile, he said Felda will be focusing on improving its financial position, supported by the RM6.23 billion government guarantee in the form of loans and grants, which will be used for several initiatives, including the provision of housing for the second generation of Felda settlers, reducing the debt burden of the settlers as well as improving the productivity of the settlements.
With the government guarantee, Mohamed Azmin said Felda will be able to discuss with its lenders to reschedule its payments to the financial institutions involved.
Besides that, Felda has identified several non-strategic assets which could potentially be disposed of, although Mohamed Azmin declined to reveal the assets that may be sold off.
However, he said these assets will be disposed of via an open bidding process to ensure Felda gets the best value for the assets.
“With the new management and leadership at Felda and the measures to be taken, we hope to restore the confidence of the settlers and improve Felda’s financial position within five years,” said Mohamed Azmin.