KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Despite the quit decision by former PAS land bureau chairman Mazlan Aliman, the party’s leadership said today it will continue supporting the National Felda Settlers’ Children’s Association (Anak), the citizens’ group that he heads.
In a statement here, PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party would not abandon the needs and welfare of Felda settlers, especially with the land development authority now in a “critical” condition.
“On a personal level, I am saddened by the decision made by my friend Mazlan Aliman. I can understand his feelings and I too feel his pain, which is why I respect his right and his stand.
“Insyaallah for PAS, we will keep cooperating with Anak in protecting the rights and welfare of our Felda settlers,” he said.
“Currently, Felda Global Ventures (FGV) is now faced with a crisis... FGV’s share prices fell yesterday to RM1.65, its lowest since it was listed on the bourse,” he pointed out.
FGVH suspended trading of its shares on Friday when the firm announced that it is proposing to purchase a 37 per cent stake in PT Eagle High, the third largest palm oil plantation company in Indonesia, for US$680 million (RM2.5 billion).
The deal has come under criticism from business analysts and lawmakers alike, with the market similarly unreceptive.
Yesterday, FGVH shares fell to RM1.65 on the first day of trading since the firm announced the proposed buy.
It also represents an over 60 per cent drop in value from the RM4.55 when Felda was first listed in 2012, in the biggest market listing of the year behind social network Facebook.
“In view of that, PAS will continue to expose the weaknesses of Felda and pray that Anak will continue to succeed in protecting the welfare of its settlers,” Tuan Ibrahim said.
Yesterday, Mazlan announced his resignation from the party, citing both disappointment with the party election results, which saw a total takeover by the ulama faction, and a desire to focus on his own citizens’ group.
He added that Anak no falls under the PAS banner as it was officially registered as an NGO by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) three months ago.
On June 4, the ulama trounced party progressives in a near-total takeover of PAS the party leadership, winning 22 out of the 23 posts open for contest in the Islamist party’s central working committee.
Out of the 23 central committee members, Mazlan was the only member from the so-called progressive faction; the rest are from the ulama faction or aligned to it.
PAS then also approved a motion for the Islamist party to sever ties with DAP, its political ally in Pakatan Rakyat putting the bloc’s future in a limbo.