The Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) has stated that PKR’s repeated attempts to discredit the Government’s promise to give a payout to FELDA settlers for the proposed Initial Public Offering of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH) as trivialising the sacrifice shown by all settlers.
Commenting on PKR’s latest claim that FELDA settlers would not receive any “durian runtuh” payment but would instead be forced to take loans to buy FGVH shares, FELDA Chairman Tan Sri Haji Isa bin Dato’ Haji Abdul Samad said:
“The Prime Minister has repeatedly promised that the Government will give a ‘durian runtuh’ payout to all FELDA settlers in the lead-up to FGVH’s planned listing. The windfall is a deserved reward for the settlers’ support, hard work and dedication to FELDA’s land development programme over many decades.”
“The Government has also repeatedly stated that the money to be utilised for the payout will be from FELDA’s own funds and not from Treasury. Despite these assurances, PKR have consistently attempted to politicise and confuse this issue. By doing so, they have demonstrated their willingness to trivialise the sacrifice shown by settlers.”
Tan Sri Haji Isa explained, “Moreover, it is never the Government’s intention to force any settler to buy FGVH shares, as alleged by PKR.
In the process of listing, many companies offer key stakeholders the opportunity to subscribe for its shares. It is quite normal for companies to arrange for commercial loans to be made available to these stakeholders who wish to purchase shares.
If FELDA does the same, it will only be because we want to facilitate settlers’ participation in the expected benefits of FGVH’s planned listing.’
“The potential creation of one of the world’s largest plantation companies is the beginning of a significant chapter in FELDA’s history. As the original ‘pioneers’, FELDA settlers should have this option to be part of the transformation.
If commercial banks are involved, it will only be because they can provide a service to make this possible for stakeholders who require financial assistance to subscribe to the shares but, of course, those who wish to may purchase the shares using their own funds.”
Isa also stressed that if FELDA decided to adopt such a scheme, the share options would be entirely different and separate from the “durian runtuh”.
“For those settlers who are satisfied with their windfall payments and have no wish to participate , the Government will not in any way compel them to buy shares”, he said.
Citing PKR’s attempts to confuse settlers with misinformation as irresponsible, Isa said that is it also not true that the land leased to FGV belongs to Felda Plantations Sdn Bhd and that it is part of the listing.
“We are listing FGVH (the company), not land. Besides, the land is 100 percent owned by FELDA, not Felda Plantations Sdn Bhd’, he added.
FGVH is a global agricultural and agri-commodities company based in Malaysia, with operations in 10 countries across four continents and is principally engaged in three main business segments, namely, plantations business, downstream business and sugar business.