The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has lodged a police report over possibilities of alleged fraud involving the master developer of a project being built on a plot of land that it owns, located along Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur.
Felda chairperson Shahrir Samad said the report against the developer is just one of the options being pursued in order to reclaim ownership of four parcels of land, worth an estimated RM270 million.
"The most important thing for us is that we must reclaim ownership of the land...Even though a master developer has been appointed for the project, our interpretation is that the ownership must remain with us.
"On Dec 12, after this matter and its entire chronology was raised to the Prime Minister’s Department and the attorney-general, Felda lodged a police report over possibilities of alleged fraud in the transfer of land ownership.
"The company was given the power of attorney, and it transferred ownership of the land to itself.
"The power of attorney was accorded on June 3, 2014, but only approved by Felda's board of directors on Sept 2, 2014," Shahrir told a press conference at the Felda headquarters.
Shahrir had earlier claimed that he was first made aware of the deal involving four sales and purchase agreements sometime in January, when he was first appointed to head Felda.
Malaysiakini is withholding the company's name pending an official response.
It was also suspect, Shahrir added, that Felda has not received "a single sen" from any of the agreements signed.
"Although we heard about millions in the sales and purchase, not a single sen has been paid (to Felda).
"So that is also unique...There is absolutely no record (of such payments)," he said.
Asked whether Felda would be willing to sell the land if the company paid up, Shahrir maintained that "we are not as interested in the money, we are interested in the land."
Upon discovery of the allegedly dubious transactions, Shahrir said that Felda immediately applied to the Federal Territories Lands and Mines Department to enforce a private caveat on the areas involved.
However, their request was only granted in April, after several appeals were made.
Shahrir also noted that various measures to reclaim the land - including attempts to negotiate with the developer - had been carried out since January, before it was finally decided that a report would be lodged for alleged fraud.
Asked whether the police report had also named former Felda chairperson Isa Samad or other board members in charge at the time, Shahrir said only the developer was mentioned, and he would leave the rest up to the police to investigate.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Razali Ibrahim (photo), meanwhile, said that an independent audit would be conducted next month to determine if there had been breaches of procedure within Felda or Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) Sdn Bhd.
"The power was given by Felda to this company, that is normal. But the way the power was given, was it done in the right way?
"When the company is given power, it can do anything. So (in this case) the company had transferred the land (ownership) to itself.
"So that is why we are looking at whether there had been breaches to internal procedures by the office bearers at the time," the Muar MP said, adding that Felda is also mulling filing a civil suit against the company.
Shahrir had taken over leadership of Felda from Isa, who led the agency from 2011 up to January this year.
Isa was also chairperson of Felda Global Ventures from Jan 1, 2011, to June 19 this year, as well as FIC's chairperson since the company was founded on July 2, 2013, up until earlier this year.