Doing homework, properly

Recently, certain failed politician-turned-blogger took upon the task trying to debunk all the rationalization of having the Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ listing wheels-in-motion. It is his sordid attempt to cast a doubt for a mega post-ASNB unit trust program which should be dubbed as “ASNB Kedua”, that will benefit 112,635 FELDA settlers directly and the rest of Malaysia, indirectly.

The fact that it was highlighted by the online news portal which publicly admitted they actually lied and slander solidify the notion that this is a sinister attempt.

First order is to get some basis of facts on the table; the management of Felda Holdings Bhd. (FHB) and Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) are of the same people. It is pointless to say that FHB’s management is better than FGVH as the Managing Director of FHB is Dato’ Seri Sabri Ahmad and he will assume the CEO post FGVH when they get listed.

Another point is that FHB was incorporated back in 1995 as they already wanted to separate Felda the authority to develop the socio economic standing and community of these 317 tanah rancangans all over the nation and the business side. FGVH was incorporated in 2009 to take over all the business holdings which were undertaken by FELDA the authority as Government agencies should remain as a facilitator manned by cicil servants and enterprises should be managed as corporations, by professionals. It is also a clear policy of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s administration ‘Government Role in Business’ (GRIB).

Felda Global Ventures is the new kid on the block. They may not make as much money as FHB, but they will in time. Especially when better operation practices invoked and strategies crafted, on top of the full blown management by professionals instead of taking directives from Civil Servants. Last year, FHB contributed RM 766 million in profits where else FGVH recorded RM 360 million. So to say FGVH is not making money is a blatant lie.

If this failed politician whose contituents still rubbish him even after more than three and a half years of leaving office and was said to have turned ‘deeply disgruntled’ because of failure to get a certain ‘hospital project’ care to do a bit of research, FELDA Global Ventrues was set up by the civil servants within FELDA. They were the ones who were very strong about investing in the Twin Rivers Technologies (TRT) on 12 Oct 2007 via FELDA (Authority)’s incorporate FGV North America. FELDA Global Ventures Holdings was only incorporated on 15 Aug 2008 and subsequently all FGV’s was transferred to FGVH later the same year. It was in early 2010 that FGVH management came under FHB Managing Director Dato’ Mohd. Bakke Salleh. Before that, it was under the FELDA (Authority) Director General.

TRT posted an aggregated loss of RM 400 million last year. Now that Sabri is in, he is taking personal attention to turn this project around and it is beginning to show results. It is part of the precursor for FGVH listing.

FELDA Chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad, FGVH CEO and FHBMD Dato' Sabri Ahmad and FELDA DG Dato' Dzulkifli Wahab at the listing of MSM, June 2011. In the picture is also immediate past FELDA Chairman Tan Sri Dr Yusof Nor

The appointment of  FELDA Chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad as the Koperasi Permodalan FELDA (KPF) is of the explicit instruction from Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. The latter wanted the 112,635 FELDA settlers to get direct benefit in the form of net earnings when all FELDA businesses being injected and aggregated under FGVH as part of the listing exercise. As Isa will be the FGVH Chairman, it will be in the best interest of KPF members which as an entity will hold 35% of the FGVH if he is there as the KPF Chairman as well.

After all, since Isa is already the FELDA (authority) Chairman and playing the role of the stewardship to oversee all the socio economic and community development program for a population of at least 750,000 persons under all 317 FELDA schemes, then him being the KPF Chairman should synergies the role better.

Somehow, there is a structured and concerted effort to deny or halt Isa’s appointment, even though it will strategically benefit all 112,635 FELDA settlers who are the bulk of the 220,000 KPF members. Very strict and confidential information about FELDA board meetings’ discussion and decision with regards to KPF and the FGVH listing exercise are being leaked. It is true KPF by-laws specified certain conditions but the Minister in-charge could invoke certain directives such as appointment of the KPF Chairman, under provisions of the Co-operative Act.

The ‘Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question is not why is Isa’s appointment as KPF Chairman is being opposed, as the Prime Minister would always act the best for the interest of the majority which in this case is the FELDA community at large and the settlers specifically. But rather it should be who would stand to gain if Isa is denied the position as KPF Chairman?

Probably the outgoing KPF Chairman and those who are trying very hard to protect his position. As a civil servant, the current Chairman sits in BOD over 30 companies which include Malaysia Sugar Manufacturing, FGVH, Felda D’Saji, Felda Plantations and all the companions Twin Rivers Technologies stable. He is also a BOD member of Felda Prodata System, which subsidiary appointed a German who was working in Singapore as the CEO of Proxcell (a subsidiary Felda Prodata Systems) instead of a Malay pro better still, a Generasi Kedua FELDA offspring. All of these BOD appointments earn him an extra RM600,000 per annum income (not including perks), on top of his Staff 1 Civil Servant pay and allowances.

In short, as a pensionable Civil Servant not only he earns more that the Ketua Setiausaha Negara, his aggregated annual income by default of his position is even more than the Prime Minister.

The second “Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question is, how could a Civil Servant be allowed to be in this position?

Without civil servants in the way and an obstacle for good corporate governance and professionals are brought in to invoke best practices and focused deliverables to all stakeholders and not only shareholders, FGVH is on the right track as it is going on its listing mode. By end of December, FGVH should be submitting an official application to Securities Commission for listing. It is expected that the IPO would be around March-April 2012.

Its very clear that certain Sang Mangkuk did not do his homework well. If he did and still had gone the way he did then it is clear that he has a sinister agenda. Probably he is twisted as some have said about him and still on vindictive mode against Prime Minster for not wanting him to continue as a lousy ADUN in PRU 12 and then onwards, being ignored on the request for a certain ‘hospital project’.

As an ADUN when one picks a fight with almost all stakeholders, then one is not a ‘winnable candidate’. Casting a bleak aspersion for the reading pleasure of the urbanites and educated lot in a snifter agenda to deny the strategic interest of the 112,635 FELDA settlers is very wicked.

Published in: on November 12, 2011 at 15:30  Comments (10)