KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The eye-opening Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) White Paper has found support in Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who also called for a detailed probe into the agency’s ‘Eagle High’ deal.
The former defence minister said on Twitter that the White Paper tabled by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in Parliament yesterday would be beneficial for Felda and its settlers.
“I support and will cooperate with him especially for my 2,285 settlers in Sembrong,” he tweeted today, referring to his parliamentary constituency.
HIshammuddin in a subsequent tweet said there were findings in the White Paper that demand further investigation.
“But this Felda White Paper also exposes several matters that are worrying and need thorough investigation. Specifically, matters that are connected with ‘Eagle High’ transactions that raises question from many,” he said.
The tweet came after his cousin, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was referred to Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee for breaching the embargo on the White Paper.
Among others, the former prime minister had highlighted Felda’s agreement to buy a 37-per cent stake in Indonesian firm Eagle High Plantations Tbk (EHP) on his Facebook page hours before the document was to be released to the public at 11.30am yesterday.
He said he did so to defend himself over the police report Felda lodged on Tuesday accusing him of misleading the agency into paying over RM2 billion for the stake that had allegedly been worth just RM440 million at the time of the sale.
Putrajaya is allocating RM6.3 billion to bail out Felda because, according to the White Paper, the financial boost was needed to manage the agency’s RM14.4 billion in liabilities.
The agency is said to be riddled with critical cashflow problems.
The government will also liquidate some of Felda’s assets to improve its financial standing.
Azmin had told Parliament, when tabling the White Paper, that the government hoped to strengthen Felda in five years.