Monday, April 16, 2012


The FELDA listing plan has been a hot topic among the people especially the FELDA settlers themselves and politicians from both sides of the divide. I recently read an article by the honorable YB Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah bt. Anwar regarding the issue and decided to delve into her story and examine its veracity.

In most private companies and corporations the apex of its growth is normally when its public listed. To do so is no easy feat and requires years of building up a brand name and confidence of the public equity players to make an IPO a success. The fact that a government linked organization has grown so much that it’s now viable to be public listed is a proud moment not only for the felda stakeholders but Malaysians in general.

The Felda listing is actually a boon for those settlers who toiled the lands for so many years and now deservedly have a chance to be rewarded for their services and efforts with the listing being a medium to translate their work into financial reward. And this reward is not from the government coffers but rather from the profit that will accrue from the listing of the organization.

YB Nurul Izzah's statement that the listing a political bribe is another untruth told in broad daylight. The government would like those who are the backbone of the Felda program to receive their due through the listing, and that too from the profits of all their hard work and not as a handout from the government. This seems the most moral and righteous thing to do but the YB feels rewarding those who toiled is a bad idea.

YB Nurul Izzah asserts that overall this listing is bad for the settlers and they will come to financial ruin because of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many of her “facts” seem to be half truths and full lies. First of all in the blog she contends that the Felda settlers will have been mandatorily “forced” to take loans from a few chosen banks. This is a complete fabrication of the fact.

The government has not and will not force anything onto the people much less something bad for them. Felda’s continued growth is the pride of the government and its success is the success of the government and vice versa. The truth of the matter is that the government would like the settlers to take part in the process of the listing and have made arrangements for those settlers who would like to participate in the listing to take loans from certain banks. This is to facilitate them to be part of the continued expansion and growth of Felda as a business entity and in no way is anyone “forced” to take part in the process.

She also seems to feel that the listing is bad in financial terms because of the high charges of services of financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. This seems a bit odd and illogical coming from a person who expounds the need for accountability and transparency. I would have thought the YB from Lembah Pantai would be happy that world renowned financial institutions are involved in the setting up of the IPO and hence would lend credibility and confidence to the listing. Isn’t it commendable to get the best brains out there to advice the Felda board on the best possible way and means to make the listing a success?

In conclusion a noble effort by the government to ensure the continued participation of the settlers in the Felda success story and them getting a rewarded for their long term efforts have been painted as a poisoned chalice by the YB. The government is open to constructive criticism and ideas that help the cause move forward but criticizing for the sake of criticizing helps nobody and doesn’t bode well for MP to mislead without knowing the facts thoroughly.

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