How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Felda in a compromising position?

In Malaysia, most things are not what it seems. Democracy, equality, justice, you name it, we have our own version of 'truth' as claimed by BN leaders, with an almost completely different version as claimed by the opposition. Over time, we get used to mainly propaganda by our mainstream media and learn to read between the lines.

Our PM Najib would like us to believe his personal interest in Felda (on top of his supremo position as PM and Finance Minister, and some may say, Husband of FLOM) is because of his father, our second PM, Tun Razak's legacy. Going by this unwritten rule or logic, Mukhriz or his brother should have a personal interest in Petronas, while he himself is entitled to be PM sooner or later.

But what is surprising in Malaysia is the blatant way of enriching the ruling party, leaders and their cronies. We have seen enough of Ministers in charge of their portfolios who could get away, benefiting from exceptionally favourable contracts, using immediate family members. Just by not being present at the relevant decision-making meeting or that other ministers made the decision, is enough to vindicate them of any corrupt intent. One good test whether this assumption hold any water is to look for any present or past minister who is not much richer than before. It seems to be an acceptable way of life here, but must we continue with this state of affairs?

There is so much written about Felda's impending IPO which seems to be taking the settlers for a ride. But nothing can ever change once our PM and his ministers set their mind on any scheme of things. Everything is in black and white, showing the unfair distribution of shares which seem to benefit non-settlers, even foreigners, more than the original settlers. The end seems to justify the means. The 99-year lease (more than a lifetime) at very low rental is the most ludicrous. All this talk about Malay reservation land means nothing when non-Malays can own shares in this huge plantation company which owns the right to it. The complex structure of the proposed IPO seems deliberate in making things confusing to the people, and especially the settlers.

"Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF), which represents the interest of the Felda settlers have been completely left out of the Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH) public-listing exercise.  KPF is the 51% shareholder of Felda Holdings Bhd (FHB), while FGVH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FELDA statutory body holds the balance 49%.  Based on the KPF 2010 Annual Report, it is 70% owned by Felda settlers, with the balance owned by Felda employees.

It is therefore not a surprise that KPF has expressed shock at their being left out of the initial public offering (IPO) exercise in a statement issued on 27 April 2012.  They had claimed that the decision to leave them in a lurch contradicts the Budget statement issued by the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak which stated that the interest of the Felda settlers will be protected via the majority ownership of FGVH via KPF.

However, the lack of ownership in FGVH is in effect, the least of KPF’s problems.  As discovered from the official draft FGVH listing prospectus, not only will KPF not get any ownership of FGVH, KPF’s existing business and income will be cannibalised by FGVH.

Prior to 2012, FELDA, the Government statutory body owns 355,864 hectares of plantation land, which was managed by Felda Plantations Sdn Bhd, a 51% subsidiary of FHB.  The remainder 49% is owned by FELDA.  However as at January 2012, FGVH is granted 99-year rights to the land.

The 355,864 hectares of plantation land generated RM680 million in net profit in 2011. The net profit attributable to KPF-FELDA would be RM510.1 million based on its KPF’s 51% ownership of FHB and FELDA’s 49% ownership of Felda Plantations.  Given the proposed price of RM4.65 per FGVH share on a market valuation of 16-17 times earnings (市盈率), KPF's stake in the above plantation land contributed as much as RM8.8 billion to FGVH's market capitalisation (市值)."

Tony Pua's FGVH IPO: Felda settlers fleeced


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