JOHOR BARU, Oct 20 — A watchdog for Federal Land Development Authority’s (Felda) has said it welcomes and supports the proposal to take back the troubled authority’s leased land from FGV Holding Berhad (FGV).
The Felda NGO Consensus Council (MPNF) chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman said he backs the reported plan by Felda chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to take back 350,000 hectares of the troubled authority’s land leased to FGV.
He said other assets besides the land also included 68 factories that needed to be returned as they are directly related to crop land and oil palm.
“From the beginning, I have never agreed with FGV’s listing on Bursa Malaysia as I was convinced that it will fail.
“All feedback through various forums and memorandum were channelled to the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government, but they were not taken into account.
“The listing proved to be a failure and is considered a tragedy that nearly killed off a Malay institution,” said Mazlan.
He was responding to a news report where Idris was quoted as saying that it was possible for Felda to return to the black by the financial year 2022 through the implementation of a new business model.
Mazlan, who is a Johor Parti Amanah Negara committee member, said he is consistent with his stand on the matter even after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government came to power in 2018 where there was talk of a takeover of FGV by a third party.
He said he backed the statement by Idris as it is in line with the current struggle faced by Felda residents nationwide.
“I hope the government can immediately finalise the takeover plan which is believed to be able to restore Felda’s finances as before,” said Mazlan, who is also the Farmers’ Organisation Authority chairman.
On Sunday, Idris in a statement said Felda wishes to take back 350,000 hectares of land leased to FGV in an effort to strengthen its financial position.
He said the matter has already been agreed upon by its board of directors and the company is currently awaiting the government’s directive before negotiations can begin with FGV.
To date, FGV’s responsibility towards Felda (according to the land lease agreement) amounting to RM248 million a year has been fully met.
FGV has paid more than RM2.5 billion to Felda from 2012 to 2019.