Council of Eminent Persons wants RCI into Felda misappropriation, settlers’ rep says

Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan chairman Mazlan Aliman speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan chairman Mazlan Aliman speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The Council of Eminent Persons has agreed that there is a need to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate Felda’s alleged misappropriation, said Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan.

Its chairman Mazlan Aliman, who was met after a briefing by the Council at the Ilham Tower, said this was one of his many concerns which were voiced out during the 40-minute meeting.

“Felda settlers are clueless about what happened during the administration of Tan Sri Shahrir Samad that caused Felda to have a huge financial burden of some RM6 billion.

“I have urged for an RCI to be established so that all misappropriation can be exposed, and the Council agreed that there is a need,” he told reporters when met at the Ilham Tower lobby earlier.

Mazlan, who has been actively championing the rights of Felda settlers, also presented a 46-page recommendation document to the Council.

Recommendations made include the execution of one of Pakatan Harapan’s promises to settle 50 per cent of debts accumulated by Felda settlers, mostly due to replantation exercises.

“I also raised the 100-day promise to clear half of our debts. I told the Council that there is a need to come up with a proper mechanism to make it happen,” he said, claiming that the debts could reach up to RM100,000 per settler.

He also urged the Council to terminate the services of Felda subsidiary company Felda Technoplant who is in charge of the replantation exercises for its failure to come up with a feasible solution for the settlers’ debts.

“Not only that, Felda should see major reforms, in line with the new government’s aspirations. If efforts to fix such problem are not done urgently, it will increase the severity of our financial problem,” he said.

Mazlan said, on behalf of the settlers, it is hoped that the new government would increase the amount of Hari Raya incentives and urged the payouts to be given earlier.

“Past years we were given RM900 each plus dividend so we hope this year it would at least reach RM1,000.

“Instead of giving the incentives two or three days before Hari Raya, we hope it can be given sooner. Maybe a week before so we have time to make Raya preparations,” he said.

Mazlan is one of the five key figures summoned to meet the Council, headed by Tun Daim Zainuddin, today.

Others include FGV Holdings chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad, former Felda director-general Datuk Hanapi Suhada, Felda Investment Corporation chairman Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim and Felcra chief executive officer Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope.

Zulkarnain, when met briefly by the reporters, said the meeting with the Council saw discussions of Felcra’s operations and ways to enhance them.

“Normal meeting...talked about our operations and how we can improve,” he said.

When asked if its chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin was one of the topics of discussion, Zulkarnain replied with a quick, “No.”

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