Court allows interim halt of FELDA share transfer to FGV
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — A group of FELDA settlers won today a temporary court order blocking the transfer of shares from their co-operative to FELDA Global Ventures (FGV), a crucial step in Putrajaya’s plans to list the plantation firm.
Critics say the move will shortchange more than 200,000 smallholders and saddle the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) with RM1.5 billion in yearly deficit.
The Kuantan High Court gave eight settlers an interim injunction barring the FELDA Investment Co-operative (KPF) from handing over its shares in FELDA Holdings to FGV, or for any discussion to be held on behalf of KPF on the matter, according to PAS party organ Harakahdaily.
Mazlan Aliman (picture), president of the National FELDA Settlers’ Children’s Association (ANAK), told Harakahdaily this means KPF’s extraordinary general meeting on February 22 cannot press ahead with the transfer which the federal government needs before listing FGV.
“This is a great decision for FELDA settlers and our fight to ensure the listing of FGV on Bursa Malaysia will not go ahead,” the PAS central committee member was quoted as saying by the party organ.
The group has strenuously opposed the plan which will see FGV take over the 51 per cent stake owned by more than 200,000 smallholders in FELDA Holdings, which made RM760 million in 2010.
According to ANAK, settlers, through KPF, will be given a 35 per cent share of FGV, whose international subsidiaries reportedly lost RM500 million up to 2010.
It has said that FELDA will be saddled with annual losses of over RM1.5 billion if plans to list FGV go ahead.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had recently said the listing of FGV, announced in Budget 2012, is expected to take place in April, instead of the middle of the year as earlier planned.
But Mazlan said mentris besar in the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states — Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan — have indicated to ANAK they will not sign the agreement, which must be agreed to by all state governments.
The government has said the move will result in a RM5.9 billion lump sum payment to settlers but ANAK has insisted it will not be in cash but shares in FGV.
FGV subsidiaries such as FELDA Iffco Sdn Bhd, FELDA Global Technologies, FELDA Global Ventures Middle East and FELDA Global Ventures Arabia are reported to have chalked up accumulated losses of around RM500 million up to last year.
The profitable FELDA Holdings has a workforce of some 19,000 employees, with a labour force of 46,795 workers at 300 estates, 70 palm oil mills, seven refineries, four kernel-crushing plants, 13 rubber factories, manufacturing plants and several logistic and bulking installations spread throughout Malaysia and several locations overseas.