Monday, July 16, 2012

FELDA Memo to the King

Reuters pic

Over 5,000 protesters at the Himpunan Oren went to the palace on Saturday to show opposition to the Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ (FGV) controversial listing. Eight representatives from an umbrella group calling itself Gerakan Selamatkan FELDA (GSF) handed over a memorandum to palace officials seeking the Agong’s intervention to withdraw FGVH from being listed on Bursa Malaysia.

The settlers, who hold a stake in the plantation giant, are continuing to resist its successful listing out of fear they will lose control of an asset they had invested in for generations.

“Under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, the protection of the Malays and the rights of the Bumiputeras are under the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” said PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who was in the eight-man team that met with palace officials at Istana Negara. He said that was why the mostly Malay group had decided to seek the King’s help.

FGV which was listed on June 28, 2012 was seen as a rush job and many have complained that Felda settlers are getting crumbs from the IPO. According to Ariff Sabri a.k.a. Sakmongkol AK47 – read his July 02 blogpost at http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/2012/07/felda-settler-bleak-future-ahead.html – the FELDA settler, the romanticized vanguard of Najib Razak’s transformation plan gets a miserly 810 units of share. The premium the settler gets at the closing on the listing day was 75 sen. That gives him a RM607 profit. Deduct RM200 being the loan processing fee and that gives him a net profit of RM400. Add that trifling amount to the advanced bribe of RM15, 000, he gets RM15, 400.

Now compare that to the selected bumiputeras who get anything from 1 million to 5 million units of share. These people are getting anything from RM750,000 to RM3.75 million. Now who has been shortchanged?

FELDA settlers are merely pawns in this corporate chess game where favored individuals made lots of money at the expense of the former.

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