Jomo: There has been ‘massive fraud’ at Felda

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 11, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Professor Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a Council of Eminent Persons member, weighed in on the revelations of questionable deals and governance failure at the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) yesterday, saying what happened at Felda highlights a “massive fraud”.

“There has been a massive fraud which has taken place at the taxpayers’ expense, as far as Felda is concerned,” he said at the launch of the Khazanah Research Institute’s report on the status of the paddy and rice industry in Malaysia.

Jomo highlighted that when former Felda chairman Raja Tan Sri Muhammad Alias Raja Muhammad Ali stepped down from his post in 2001, Felda still had a surplus of over RM8 billion.

“Now the deficit is even higher than that amount, because we haven’t counted all the losses that the new director-general is alleging,” he said.

“The problem is that everyone has been focusing so much on 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd). There are other massive frauds that have taken place, like ECRL (East Coast Rail Link) and others, which I hope the press will take up,” Jomo told reporters.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali presented the White Paper on Felda in Parliament yesterday, where he revealed a forensic audit found conflicting interests and governance failure behind questionable Felda deals.