PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has questioned Felda’s move to secure private funding of RM1 billion for a settlers housing project from a Singaporean firm.
He wanted to know how Felda managed to obtain the loan from Singapore’s Putra Star Investment Holdings Pte Ltd.
“Even if I was one of the richest companies in the world, I wouldn’t give RM1 billion without collateral.
“What did Felda put up as collateral to get the funding?” he asked during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
The Pandan MP also wanted to know the terms of the loan agreement.
Felda and Putra Star signed a deal to fund the Felda New Generation Housing programme on Sept 6 last year.
A Bernama report on the signing cited then-Felda chairperson Isa Samad as saying the nationwide programme with a gross development value of RM1 billion experienced delays due to a financing mechanism problem.
“However, the issue was resolved as we opted for a private funding initiative via Putra Star,” he had said.
No track record
Meanwhile, Rafizi also questioned the choice of Putra Star.
Citing the company’s profile retrieved from Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, he said Putra Star was just a general wholesale trade company that did not appear to have any experience with financing.
“If you get funding from firms like, World Bank, at least you get some confidence that this is a responsible institution with strong finances,” he said.
Even if it was a renowned institution, the opposition leader said there is still the question of why Felda is making its settlers indebted to foreigners.
Rafizi also highlighted how Putra Star only had a paid up capital of US$1 million.
When contacted, a Putra Star spokesperson told Malaysiakini that it would let Felda respond to Rafizi’s allegations.
“The programme came from Felda thus the due diligence was also done by them to check on Putra Star’s financing capabilities.
“That being said, Putra Star’s annual revenue is about US$180 million a year,” the spokesperson said in an email.
Malaysiakini has also contacted Isa and his successor Shahrir Samad for comment.