Rafizi claims bankrupt Felda unit lost RM155m

Opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said Felda Wellness Corporation (FWC) was declared bankrupt by a Malaysian court last year over unpaid debts to an Australian pharmaceutical company. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said Felda Wellness Corporation (FWC) was declared bankrupt by a Malaysian court last year over unpaid debts to an Australian pharmaceutical company. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 ― A subsidiary of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), which is now bankrupt, lost RM155 million in just over two years of operations, Opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli alleged today.

The PKR MP for Pandan said Felda Wellness Corporation (FWC) was declared bankrupt by a Malaysian court last year over unpaid debts to an Australian pharmaceutical company called Gordagen Pharmaceuticals.

According to a Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) document, FWC closed over its inability to repay the A$652,083 (RM2.1 million) debt to the Australian firm, but has RM155 million in accumulated losses, and RM154 million in debt to other creditors.

“How will Felda settlers feel about some top people in the management spending RM155 million in just two and a half years?” Rafizi asked during a press conference here.

According to a media release issued by Gordagen last year, FWC had refused to pay “genuine and admitted” debts leading to the firm pursuing a bankruptcy filing for FWC in Malaysian courts.

FWC was wound up by the High Court here in March 2016.

In its statement, Gordagen also claimed that the debts over its services include a contractual agreement that funds sourced by FWC was going to be used to pay the living expenses of a certain Athirah Sufi, who is the daughter of Muhammad Sufi Mahbub, who is the Felda Group deputy director general.

Recently, Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad was appointed as the new Felda chairman and subsequently admitted that Felda has “leakages.”

Rafizi also said that if the government does not show willingness to fight corruption, officers within Felda will perpetuate the culture as well.

He also questioned why Muslim pilgrims’ fund Tabung Haji did not dispose its shares in Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Berhad (Perisai) even though the oil rig rental company’s share prices has been plummeting since end of 2014.

He claimed that Tabung Haji lost RM 64 million due to its investment in Perisai, comparing the share prices at the time of purchase, and the balance shares that they had sold in the final week of December last year. 

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