Archive for category Felda

Each of the 100,000 Felda settlers would be allocated RM70,000 if the US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets which US DOJ wanted to forfeit is allocated among the Felda settlers

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced a special incentive of RM5,000 each for 94,956 Felda families.

The first reaction of Felda citizens is why the special incentive of RM15,000 for each of the Felda families before the 13th General Election has shrunk to only a third of the 2013 amount of RM5,000?

Najib’s announcement makes me think of two things:

Firstly, about the US$23.7 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace which was given to “wife of MO1” by 1MDB scandal mastermind, Penang billionaire Jho Low from money-laundered 1MDB funds. On the basis of RM5,000 special incentive to each of the Felda families, how many Felda families could benefit just from the 22-carat pink diamond necklace? Easily more than 22,000 Felda families as the pink diamond necklace cost RM117 million in Malaysian currency. Read the rest of this entry »

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Annuar Musa’s desperate and unabashed appeal to the primordial politics of religion confirmed my initial suspicion that Putrajaya had been very jittery and most hysterical about latest US DOJ kleptocratic action on forfeiture of US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets

UMNO Information Chief, Annuar Musa’s desperate and unabashed appeal to the primordial politics of religion has confirmed my initial suspicion that Putrajaya had been very jittery and most hysterical about the latest United States Department of Justice (DOJ) kleptocratic action on forfeiture of US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets.

Was this why the three Najib loyalists in the Cabinet, the Defence Minister, Datuk Hishamuddin Hussein, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak had risked their public reputations with ridiculous salvoes to the DOJ in coming to the defence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak since the third spate of DOJ kleptocratic suits in California last Thursday?

It is understandable it is not easy to maintain equanimity when two whammies involving two biggest financial scandals of the first magnitude in the nation’s history exploded in the month of Ramadan – the new US DOJ kleptocratic action and the Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) scandal – especially when so much preparation had been made for the Najib administration to take the political offensive in the month of Ramadan in preparation for the 14th General Election.

But while Hishammudin, Salleh and Abdul Rahman were not helpful to Najib at all – Annuar’s intervention is sheer disaster for Najib, for what Annuar had done was tantamount to scoring his own goal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should make public the findings of the 1MDB Special Task Force of the four Tan Sris in July 2015 to resolve the two major financial scandals under Najib premiership – the 1MDB and FGV scandals

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has announced that former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala had completed his assignment to look into the Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) crisis within a week.

The RM13 billion FELDA/FGV scandal together with the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal are the two greatest financial scandals of the seven-year Najib premiership, which Najib had promised to bring about the best democracy in the world!

I call on Najib to act with similar despatch to resolve the 1MDB scandal, which has brought to Malaysia the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.

This can be done by Najib making public the findings of the 1MDB Special Task Force of the four Tan Sris which he disbanded in July 2015, for it is clear from hindsight that the 1MDB Special Task Force had done more work to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal than any other 1MDB probe – including the probes by the Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

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Idris Jala report on the FGV crisis should be “Tell All” and not cover-up for Najib’s ministerial failure for five years to ensure FELDA and FGV serve the 100,000 FELDA settlers and not UMNO cronies

That was fast.

Within a week, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala had completed his assignment by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to look into the Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) crisis.

This was revealed by Najib yesterday who said the Idris’ report would be announced at an appropriate time and he had also requested Idris to look into several steps and measures to solve the crisis.

Is Idris a superman or wonder worker in government transformation who could pinpoint the complex causes and solutions of the RM13 billion FGV crisis within a week?

Or were all the facts and information about the FELDA/FGV crisis in the possession of the Prime Minister’s Department, as the Prime Minister was directly responsible for FELDA/FGV affairs, and the real issue is the Prime Minster’s failure of responsibility to save FELDA and FGV in the past five years? Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP calls for Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tens of billions of ringgit of FGV and FELDA losses, which should include Najib’s responsibility in allowing such financial losses and scandals in the past five years

In a matter of five years, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) suffered RM10 billion market capitalisation losses, with its share price at RM4.55 per share when it was listed in June 2012 plunging to RM1.72 per share today.

Why has FGV, which is the world’s largest plantation operator with more than two million acres of oil palms in Malaysia and in other parts of the world, suffered so badly?

FELDA Chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad will be meeting the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak tomorrow to discuss the best solution to resolve the FGV crisis.
Read the rest of this entry »

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HOW AN ILL-FATED STOCK LISTING COULD SWAY MALAYSIA’S ELECTION

BY PHAR KIM BENG
South China Morning Post
9 APR 2017

The controversial listing of the Federal Land Development Authority’s commercial arm has left many of the Malaysian government’s key supporters – the rural poor – rethinking their allegiances

Viewed from afar, Malaysia’s ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), might seem nigh-on unchallengeable in the general election expected as early as this year. After all, it has been in power since the country’s first such election in 1955 – two years before the country’s independence from Britain.

Yet, while it is undeniably strong, its armour is not without chinks. The party cannot afford to lose the support of Malaysia’s rural constituencies – a dependency that has entwined its fate with that of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) for the past 60 years and may now represent just such a weak spot.

Felda was created by Umno a year after its maiden election win to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and smallhold farms. It went on to alter the development of Malaysia beyond recognition as large swathes of unused land became well-irrigated plantation schemes that transformed both agricultural exports and the incomes of its rural communities.

Settlers on Felda land have remained fiercely loyal to Umno, which forms the backbone of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (National Front), ever since and have played no small part in defending Umno’s grip on power. Of the party’s 86 parliamentary seats, 54 are from constituencies on Felda-developed land.

But there are signs Umno’s grip may now be loosening with opinion among its erstwhile diehard support base now deeply divided by the government’s handling of the listing of Felda’s commercial arm – Felda Global Ventures (FGV) – on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in May 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia is deeply mired in a “kleptocratic culture” when a person removed as Minister for money politics and corruption could be appointed FELDA Chairman for five years

Malaysia is deeply mired in a “kleptocratic culture” when a person removed as a Minister for money politics and corruption could be appointed FELDA Chairman for five years. And he is still today the top man of a key FELDA conglomerate!

It is this kleptocratic culture, unknown in Malaysia under the first five Prime Ministers of the country, which has plunged the country into the infamy and ignominy of being regarded and ridiculed worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.

There had been problems of good governance and democracy in the relationship between the Felda settlers and the Felda bureaucracy in the early years of Felda, and I had spoken on these Felda ssues in Parliament in the very first year that I entered Parliament 45 years ago in 1972, but Felda problems and grievances never reached the kleptocratic level as in the past several years.

This is clear and evident when we see Felda brought low by a sea of problems, not only with many important Felda officials arrested and charged for corruption by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (which is probably only the tip of the iceberg of the problem of kleptocracy in Felda) but the slew of FELDA problems besetting Felda settlers, whether concerning Felda Global Ventures (FGV), Perumahan Generasi Kedua, GSA, education, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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FELDA should welcome Pakatan Harapan’s FELDA Convention and not be afraid to send its highest officials to the Convention to assure 100,000 FELDA settlers all is well with FELDA based on the precept “Berani kerana benar”

I am surprised to read the latest Bernama news that FELDA is highly offended by the FELDA Convention organized by Pakatan Harapan in Shah Alam next Sunday, March 19, declaring its objection and stressing that FELDA is no way involved in the forthcoming FELDA Convention.

In a statement, FELDA director-general Datuk Hanapi Suhada said FELDA had never given any permission to use the FELDA name for the Pakatan Harapan convention

Hanapi said: “Lately there are some quarters who are out to disturb the harmony and wellbeing of Felda settlers. The latest being Pakatan Harapan which plans to hold the ‘Konvensyen Felda, Kelangsungan Felda Melalui Pengupayaan dan Pendidikan’ (Felda Convention: Felda Continuity through Capacity Building and Education) in Shah Alam on March 19.

“The use of the Felda name in the title will confuse the settlers and the public at large.”

Hanapi said Felda viewed the matter seriously as there could be misrepresentation which could affect the harmony and wellbeing of settlers in its land schemes.

Hanapi claimed that since the authority was founded in 1956, Felda had never strayed from its core objective of raising the standard of living of its settler community in the 317 land schemes throughout the country.

This is a most extraordinary and even hysterical statement, reflecting a most petty and small-minded mentality.

I will be most surprised if Hanapi’s statement had the blessing of the new FELDA Chairman and MP for Johor Baru, Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, which means that the veteran UMNO politician has changed considerably since becoming FELDA Chairman. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP pledges if Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu succeed in forming next Federal Government in Putrajaya, FELDA would not be closed down but will instead be strengthened so that FELDA settlers can get a new deal of justice and prosperity

We are gathered at the ceramah tonight to show our full support and solidarity with a champion of Felda and Felda settlers, Mazlan Aliman, who has become a victim of grave injustice and oppression in his life-long fight for the rights, interests and future of Felda settlers and future Felda generations.

Recently, the politics of race, hatred and lies have intensified to reach a new crescendo in Malaysian politics and all this polarisation is led by none other than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, himself.

In his UMNO Presidential Speech on Nov 30 last year, Najib continued his ignoble campaign to demonise the DAP, telling three Nazi-type Big Lies, that

1. That the 14th General Elections will be a contest between UMNO and DAP.

2. That the DAP is anti-Malay or anti-Islam.

3. The “nightmares” Malay will suffer if UMNO loses power in the next general elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP forms Felda parliamentary bureau to support DAP MPs to champion the cause of Felda settlers to ensure that they are not the latest victims of injustices of a bungling and kleptocratic government

DAP has formed a Felda parliamentary bureau to support DAP MPs to champion the cause of Felda settlers to ensure that they are not the latest victims of injustices or a bungling and kleptocratic government.

The appointment of Datuk Shahrir Samad as the new Felda Chairman has not alleviated the concerns and even worries of the Felda settlers that their legitimate rights and interests are properly safeguarded and protected.

In fact, it is the height of irony that Shahrir’s appointment as Felda Chairman had led to more turbulence in the stock market with talk that Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) may be taken private, presenting the deep chasm between the lucrative promise when FGV was listed at an IPO price of RM4.55 in 2012 and its doldrum RM1.70 range at present. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for Royal Commission of Inquiry to Save FELDA, to listen to grievances of Felda settlers particularly on Felda’s EHP acquisition and Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and to make recommendations

DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into FELDA, to listen to grievances of FELDA settlers particularly on FELDA’s Eagle High Plantations (EHP) acquisition, Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and to make recommendations to Save Felda and to ensure that FELDA does not become as great a national embarrassment and shame as the international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.

I am sure former Law Minister, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is with us today, is fit and qualified to be a member of this Royal Commission to Save FELDA, and I am also prepared to serve on the RCI to Save Felda.

A fit and proper Chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to Save FELDA would be Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the CIMB Chairperson, the son of Tun Razak who set up FELDA and the brother of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

PKR MP for Pandan, Rafizi Rami would be most suitable to be engaged to head an investigation team by the RCI to Save FELDA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crumbs for the masses

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | November 8, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Every business and economic project undertaken by Umno is a means by which a small powerful group enrich itself at the expense of the majority.

COMMENT

Bread for the political aristocrats and crumbs for the masses. That’s the economics practised by Umno leaders who display the characteristics of economic crimes.

The recent listing of Felda Global Ventures, for example, will go down in history as a wilful conspiracy to shortchange the Felda settlers.

What do common Felda folks know about the stock market because now all the physical assets that constitute the basis of Felda’s business are converted into paper assets.

The assets traded over the counter do not reflect the integrity and soundness of the physical assets, but reflect the manipulations and agility of stock market players.

Why place a known corrupt person as chairman and replacing conscientious Felda officers with obliging conspirators?

The fact that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak agreed to this reflects his complicity in suckering the Felda settlers. It’s a premeditated plan to plunder Felda.

Every business and economic project undertaken by Umno is a means by which a small powerful group enrich itself at the expense of the majority. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tsunami over FELDA

By Sakmongkol AK47 | September 11, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

SEPT 11 — If my friend, Pirates of Putrajaya had been a little bit more patient, he will find his views on the FGV vindicated. Probably he underestimated the will of the government to use GLCs under its control to shore up the FGV price.

Nevertheless, his views will be vindicated soon and I and millions of others hope he will come back into blogosphere to share with us, his rapier sharp analyses.

What Najib is doing right now is just putting out fires. He forgot that it all needed but a single spark to light up the prairie fire.

He has given an advance of RM15,000 each to Felda family. I hear, full payment hasn’t been given out yet. Perhaps Felda will use its gain of RM5.99 billion to pay the balance of what has been promised by Najib. Felda pays unto itself using its own money.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Losing ground over FELDA

By Sakmongkol AK47 | September 10, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

SEPT 10 — What is happening to FELDA now, illustrates the state of our democracy under Umno. Settlers and employees got 200.6 million of the 2188.9 million shares to be sold.

The people representing the majority and overriding interest are the settlers and the employees. There are 112,635 settlers and 3835 employees. These represent directly the interest of FELDA people. They are the majority on whose backs and on whose name, this listing was supposed to be done for and benefits meant.

A question to FELDA people. Why get only 200.6 million out of the 2.188 billion shares offered and own the same from the 3.6482 billion of the enlarged share capital? That’s 5.5 per cent of the interest in FELDA. What Najib Razak and the government are doing to you is just cosmetics.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Chief of the rentier class and his economic transformation

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 05, 2012

JULY 5 — In practical sense, the term rent-seeking or rent-seeker or rentier classs, refers to the activity by some people in capturing offices of state and using the power of the state to capture economic benefits.

So, the rentier class consists of the people making use of their official and political positions to capture economic benefits. They get these benefits not by actually providing or actually producing a service or product, but by virtue of holding a political or bureaucratic position.

So what? So the above arrangement leads to disparities in income not due to natural abilities or difference in character. Such arrangement becomes objectionable and unconscionable when the disparities in income do not arise because of abilities or character.

The lazybones and laggards get ahead of the industrious and those more clever because they have found a way to cut corners by earning state positions. And so because of the positions they hold, in the offices of state, political positions and being proximate to the corridors of power allow them to get ahead of others.

Generally speaking, that is why some people are very critical of the New Economic Policy because it allows and perpetrates such “economic arrangements”. Those who get ahead are those having political and bureaucratic powers and their cronies and fronts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Felda listing: A ‘house of lies’

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | July 2, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Felda Global Venture is a rush job and has all the hallmarks of becoming a minefield for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

COMMENT

With a bottomless pit of scandals and irregularities, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak must be off his rockers when he says he will win 14-0 in the next election.

But I know, the only time he has to say something like that, is when he knows the chips are down.

We know when Najib says he will win 14-0, it means Umno and Barisan Nasional are finished. Otherwise, with a score of 14-0, Najib should have declared election yesterday.

Let’s talk about the Felda Global Venture (FGV) which was listed on June 28.

Najib wants to rake in RM6 billion to pay his way through the next general election.

But did you know that know that only 20% of Felda top management supported the idea of FGV’s initial public offering (IPO)? Some 65% of the FGV staff thought FGV simply isn’t ready to list. Read the rest of this entry »

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FGVH listing: Misery or windfall?

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 04, 2012

JUNE 4 — Every FELDA settler is an automatic member of their co-operative (KPF). KPF owns 51 per cent of FELDA Holdings, the business unit that is the rainmaker for FELDA. Has any settler asked what happens to KPF after the listing? Where is its 51 per cent in FELDA Holdings?

Did KPF get anything? If an EGM has taken place and delegates agreed to the transfer of KPF’s interest in FELDA Holdings and in 10 other subsidiaries, how was its stake in FH valued? Where did it go and how much stake does it get in the enlarged FGVH? I haven’t seen any clarification on this matter written anywhere. It’s as though KPF’s stake has vanished into thin air. Was this the reason Isa Samad came up with a statement that FELDA has allocated 20 per cent to settlers’ interest to be handled by a trust fund? Will KPF continue to exist?

Let’s be clear about this. We are not opposed to the idea of the settler receiving RM15,000 per household. The money is probably theirs anyway, derived probably from previous underpaid dividends. How many times have settlers gone before the courts demanding FELDA make good over its under-declaration of extraction rate on fresh fruit bunches (FFB)? Probably over the years, the value of the extra extraction ran into hundreds of millions. RM15k is probably a cumulative backdated under-payment to each FELDA household (112,635 of them).

The settler, especially the first generation, must think of the future by assessing what they are losing out. There is no way now second-generation FELDA settlers can lay claim on the 360,000 hectares of land managed by FELDA Plantations. All the land and the assets therein are leased to FGVH for 99 years. While FELDA probably gets payments on the lease, the lease rate is revisable every 20 years. They must also be mindful of the fact that they also lose about RM2.5 billion a year from earned revenues which are used to manage the FELDA plantations and provide social amenities. FELDA needs RM3 billion a year to run its operation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The FGVH issue, again and again

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 02, 2012

JUNE 2 — This issue is not going to stand down.

I have to repeat this question. FGVH has not even been listed, the government of the day plans to give a total of RM15,000 to each FELDA household. The pop gets 5k first, then the mom and, finally, junior. Where did the government appropriate the money? Advances from the underwriting banks? From FELDA itself?

If the money is from FELDA coffers, then the FELDA folks must be suffering from a peculiar mental illness, the name of which I don’t know. But it entails a person feeling jubilant receiving his own money but given by another person.

If the money is not from the listing exercise, it must come from somewhere. So for what purpose was the money given? I have said it many times; Najib’s favourite way is to pay his way through. The FELDA settlers are no exception. Moreover there are 52 parliamentary seats to be won in FELDA areas. Sabah and Sarawak are almost certainly gone. FELDA is now the favourite political fixed deposit. Najib is pre-paying the interest amounts. Read the rest of this entry »

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The ‘G’ in the C+I+G=Y formula

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2012

JUNE 1 — When Kenyesians dan Hayekians debate each other, they don’t debate on the science of economics as a science. As a science which studies the allocation of scarce resources among competing wants and needs, that part is settled. They debate on the bigger issue of how to manage the economy. Keynesians want to steer the economy while Hayekians want to set the economy free. One side thinks they can plan for others. The other side wants the planning to be done by many as individuals adapting themselves to the free market.

They debate on the efficacy of polices, whether managing aggregate spending or freeing the market is better in order to increase income. Controlling aggregate spending suggest some control over the aggregates, whether consumption, investment or government spending. Who controls them? The answer: the government. Control suggests the omnipotence of government and of course governments all over the world like to control things.

Hayekians support the free market, relying instead on the actions of individual economic actors with motivations and self-interests (what interests the individual) to make the economy work. Free market does not mean free from government involvement absolutely. Rather, government’s scope is limited over a few matters such as keeping peace from within and without. Government’s role is that of an umpire and the umpire must be neutral.

Our government of course supports the Keynesian approach without a doubt. They are adherents to the dictum, we are Keynesians now. But here is where the similarities end. While in western economies, the focus is on actually seeing the economy succeed, the emphasis in our country is different. The focus here is to concentrate steering power into our hands as much as possible, so that in the name of guiding the economy, the state plays the role of allocating resources to who they think can advance the economy. The state assumes omnipotence stature. And because of this status, they get to choose who succeeds and who fails.

We are digressing too far I am afraid. We can already anticipate the headlines. “We must avoid what happens to Greece. In order to do that, we must spend more. To hell to those who complain of increasing public debt to GDP share. If we cut spending, the economy will contract. The opposition is stupid. They are just following the IMF’s prescriptions.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the PM should scuttle the coming FGVH IPO

— Lim Teck Ghee
The Malaysian Insider
May 18, 2012

MAY 18 — Prime Minister Najib Razak last week announced a “windfall” of RM15,000 to each Felda settler family.

The planned payout is to come from the initial public offering of the Felda Global Ventures Holding (FGVH). As part of the IPO of FGVH, Felda will be disposing 1.21 billion of its current FGVH shares at RM4.65 each, and from which Felda stands to make RM5.62 billion if these are fully taken up.

Among the targeted anchor investors are Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and other national and Bumiputera funds.

Ahead of the share sale to be held by June, Felda settlers have been given an assurance by Najib that the listing would yield profits. He had also lashed out at those opposed to the scheme, saying that they are merely trying “to confuse” the people.

At this stage it is not clear yet who is trying to confuse the settlers or other Malaysians since the planned IPO is a highly complicated transaction whose full details have not been thoroughly unravelled and evaluated by professional market analysts. This is because many analysts are fearful that they may antagonize the government and end up on the wrong side of the authorities.

Felda accounts for around 18 per cent of the country’s total palm oil output. The idea behind FGVH is to turn this newly created corporate entity into a “global conglomerate”. Read the rest of this entry »

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