The chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has dismissed allegations it has resorted to selling its London properties because it is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Calling the allegations uncalled for, its chairman Shahrir Abdul Samad insisted Felda’s assets exceeded its liabilities.

He said bankruptcy could only occur when one’s assets were worth less than one’s liabilities, resulting in a situation where one was unable to settle one’s debts. He explained however, that the situation with Felda was the exact opposite.

“When we have a surplus we convert it to bank savings or buy fixed assets.

“So, with fixed assets we sell part of them to solve cash-flow issues; no point keeping a lot of properties and not selling them,” he told reporters after a gathering organised by the Felda Malaysia Youth Council here today.

Felda has put the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London on the market as part of its initiatives to reorganise and restructure its assets in order to strengthen its financial position.

Shahrir said Felda plunged into debt last year and needed to seek ways out of the quandary through internal resources by diluting its assets.

He said these strategies however, would not affect its function and responsibility as these were not its core business.

“If the London hotel sale can affect the welfare and prosperity of Felda settlers, we will not do it.

“Now we are going back to our original responsibility, our core business. The hotel is not our responsibility or core business,” he said.

Shahrir also said he was confident of the abilities of Felda Global Venture Bhd (FGV) president and chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad, who resumed his duties on Monday.

He said Zakaria and FGV chairman Azhar Abdul Hamid would team up to steer the Felda subsidiary to become a competitive business entity.

“I am confident that the duo will be able to take FGV to greater heights.

“FGV is like a ‘child’, while Felda like ‘a father’ will certainly trust this entity to grow and succeed in business for Felda’s advancement,” he said.

Zakaria was given leave of absence in June pending a probe of certain deals under Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of FGV.-BERNAMA

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