Azmin: RM2.7b in FGV IPO for political mileage in polls

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali poses for pictures with the Felda White Paper in Parliament April 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali poses for pictures with the Felda White Paper in Parliament April 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — While Felda Global Ventures (FGV) had raised RM10.5 billion in its 2012 Initial Public Offering (IPO), Datuk Seri Azmin Ali today said the previous administration had spent about a quarter or RM2.7 billion of the earnings on very “shady transactions”.

The economic affairs minister indicated that these sums were used for political purposes for the general elections last year.

“Unfortunately, RM1.4 billion from the cash returns received by Felda via the FGV listing was spent on very dubious investments involving shady transactions.

“Whereas, a sum of RM2.7 billion was used to gain political support for the general election,” he said while tabling the Felda White Paper in the Dewan Rakyat.

On Monday, business daily, The Edge, quoted Felda director-general Datuk Othman Omar as saying that Felda was duped into buying a 37 per cent stake in Eagle High Plantations TBK (EHP) at higher-than-market prices during the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) administration because of orders from the top.

Citing a police report filed yesterday by Othman, The Edge reported that the order to purchase EHP shares from Indonesian conglomerate the Rajawali Group came from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in a Finance Ministry letter dated December 8, 2015.

Najib was at that time both the prime minister and finance minister.

Othman claimed in his police report that the Rajawali Group chairman Peter Sondakh was a friend of Najib’s.