KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Authorities have classified the Great Alonioners Trading Corporation (Gatco) scandal in Negri Sembilan as requiring “No Further Action (NFA)”, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
The minister disclosed this in a parliamentary reply to Prabakaran Parameswaran’s (PH-Batu) question to the prime minister about the matter in yesterday’s sitting.
“For the honourable member’s information, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation into the Gatco case has been completed.
“The attorney general has decided there should be no prosecution in this case and the investigation has been terminated [No Further Action (NFA)],” Takiyuddin said his reply.
The Gatco scandal traces back over four decades when the Negeri Sembilan Development Corporation (PKNNS) secured a 99-year lease over 2,000ha of land that belonged to the now-defunct Syarikat Gula Negeri Sembilan.
PKNNS subsequently sublet the land in 1977 to Gatco for 66 years, after which the firm converted it into a housing and development scheme that it offered to settlers at between RM4,000 and RM7,000 for a 4ha parcel with a domicile.
The project was abandoned after Gatco ran into financial difficulties, which led to the land being foreclosed and eventually acquired by Danaharta during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
In 2007, Thamarai Holdings bought up the property.
However, the settlers alleged that their offers to buy the land were ignored before it was sold to Thamaraj.
The controversy erupted again in 2017 when over 50 Gatco settlers were arrested for erecting a blockade to prevent the landowner from cutting down their rubber trees at the settlement in Bahau, Negri Sembilan.
The MACC formed a special task force to investigate the matter the same year, and conducted raids across several states that culminated in the arrest of several company directors including three with the title of “Datuk”.
The issue died down again after the flurry of investigations in 2017.