Orange Rally to ‘save Felda’ this afternoon
KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — A rally to express Felda settlers’ unhappiness over the listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) will take place this afternoon in the capital city.
The Himpunan Oren Selamatkan Felda ( Orange Rally to Save Felda) organised by the Felda Settlers’ Children’s Association (Anak) is proceeding despite FGVH’s successful listing almost two weeks ago on June 28.
Anak’s president, Mazlan Aliman, yesterday confirmed that the police have given permission for the 2pm march from the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex at Jalan Duta to the new Istana Negara, where a memorandum will be presented to the Yang diPertuan Agong.
“Our first check point, we will start from the Federal Territories Mosque to the court, from the court to the palace,” said Mazlan.
“We will meet 600 metres from the palace, and eight representatives [who had] their names submitted to the palace yesterday, will continue on to send the memorandum to the palace,” he was quoted as saying by news portal Sinar yesterday.
Mazlan also said a crowd of around 20,000 is expected to show up at the rally.
The rally has been slammed by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan as a “political gimmick” by the opposition ahead of the general election that must be called by next year.
Ahmad, who assists the prime minister in overseeing Felda, also said he did not see the FGVH listing as an issue since it has so far been profitable.
“Yes, yes, (it is a) gimmick for elections; for us, there’re no losses for the settlers. Those who will suffer loss are the opposition,” he said.
Putrajaya forged ahead with Felda’s controversial public listing despite earlier criticism from some settlers and the opposition who claim that it will short-change some 112,000 Felda settlers nationwide, a group which is seen to be an important vote bank for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had given his assurance that the listing would yield profits, and earlier announced a RM1.69-billion “windfall” for all settlers throughout the country ahead of the FGVH listing.
The shares of FGVH, the world’s second largest initial public offering (IPO) this year reportedly continued to remain above its IPO price more than two weeks after its listing.
FGVH had soared 20 per cent above its debut price of RM5.30 when it listed on June 28.
Brokers have said, however, that FGVH is likely benefitting from the interest of large institutional funds who expect the plantation giant to become a component of the benchmark FBM KLCI index, along with restrictions against cornerstone buyers disposing their lots within six months of the listing.