Muhyiddin directs police to investigate Felda 'without fear or favour'

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin has directed the police to investigate 'without fear or favour' the alleged misconduct in Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) reported by the statutory body's director general Datuk Dr Othman Omar on Monday (April 8).

In a statement today, Muhyiddin said the two police reports lodged by Othman on PT Eagle High Plantation Investment Tbk (EHP) and the KL Vertical City Project (KLVC) showed criminal misconducts and resulted in Felda suffering billions of ringgit losses.

"As Minister of Home Affairs, I have directed the police to investigate this professionally and without fear or favour," he said.

Muhyiddin said former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement was aimed at confusing the public, especially the Malays and Felda settlers.

"He (Najib) said that the EHP was a strategic investment and good for Felda and the country. It is certainly not strategic to buy at over 300% more than the actual price. It is illogical and foolish to say that. What Felda bought for RM2.5 billion is now worth only RM500 million. Felda is bleeding by RM2 billion.

"Najib also said that Felda can get out of the EHP investment anytime and make a 6% gain because of a Put Option. That is a lie. Felda tried to exercise the Put Option mentioned by Najib but is prevented from doing so. Rajawali has commenced arbitration against Felda in Singapore. The arbitration is confidential and I cannot comment more. But the fact is Felda cannot exercise the Put Option so easily the way Najib puts it," he said.

Muhyiddin, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president, said the Pakatan Harapan Government is committed to expose the culprits who caused the losses to Felda and hold them accountable.

"We all know that in corporate fraud, the culprits will hide their hands and will make it appear as if it is a genuine commercial transaction. PPBM is committed to explain that the things done to Felda are repeated in other government agencies and government-linked companies. All responsible will be held to accountability," he said.

Muhyiddin said under Najib's leadership, Felda had entered into various luxurious projects and exaggerated contracts.

"Many of these contracts are the source of Felda's financial problems today such that Felda has to now seek the Government's help to keep it afloat. The Government is considering Felda's request for capital injection of RM6 billion for the sake of more than 120,000 Felda settlers.

"In understanding Felda's problems, the Government had engaged accounting firm Messrs EY to conduct a forensic audit. Felda also consulted legal firm Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. The findings by the two consultants confirmed that Felda had been a victim of frauds and corporate breaches," he said.