Decision on legal action amid Felda's deterioration to be disclosed in White Paper

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The decision by the government on whether legal action will be taken against those who have breached laws and contributed to the financial deterioration in Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) will be revealed in the White Paper on the institution, said Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.

"The government will present the Felda White Paper during this parliamentary sitting," said Mohd Radzi.

"[The decision] will be underlined in the White Paper," he told the Dewan Rakyat today, in response to a question by Fahmi Fadzil [PH-Lembah Pantai] on the matter.

During the session, Mohd Radzi also said Felda had to pay principal of RM3.63 billion and interest of RM2.17 billion in 2018 alone.

This compares with the institution's position in 2009, when it had almost no debt with interest payout of just RM410,000, he said.

"This continues," said Mohd Radzi. "The financial woes experienced by Felda [are] due to high debt that it has incurred over the past nine years."

Felda is one of several government-linked institutions found to have faced serious financial woes due to alleged mismanagement and poor investment decisions.

Last year, it was reported that Felda had around RM100 million cash against RM8.02 billion borrowings as at June 30, 2018, which the institution is seeking to restructure.

Steps taken by the government include to provide special allocation in 2018 amounting to RM577 million to help Felda satisfy outstanding payments and fulfil its obligations to smallholders until a complete resolution of Felda's financial woes.