It has been two months since news first emerged of a fallout between FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) group president/chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Zakaria Arshad and FGV Chairperson Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad. At the time media reports were aplenty with the various accusations exchanged between the two men. By then the government had intervened and appointed former minister and Pemandu CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent party to troubleshoot the FGV issue. Meanwhile the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) stepped in to investigate the allegations of financial discrepancies in FGV and those involved. In the latest development in the FELDA saga, the MACC has arrested Tan Sri Mohd Isa in connection with controversial hotel purchases by FELDA Investment Corporation (FIC) in London and Kuching. The anti-corruption agency believes it has a strong case therefore allowing it to arrest Tan Sri Mohd Isa and to eventually conclude its investigation.
Malaysians have been following the matter very closely particularly those affected most by the issue – the FELDA land settlers, who have a vested interest and whose livelihood is influenced by the corporate turmoil. For now the government is not setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry as queried by DAP leader Lim Kit Siang. Nevertheless the government is taking the necessary action to ensure the troubles surrounding the global agricultural and agri-commodities company is resolved with expeditiously and satisfactorily.
FELDA has long been regarded as one of Malaysia’s success story. It is unfortunate that the company is presently engulfed in a financial scandal. But perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for FELDA. Tan Sri Mohd Isa’s recent arrest underscores the political will on the government’s part to address the problems facing the company. Moving forward it is pertinent that the government ensures good governance and accountability be the order of the day. In doing so, it may possibly restore investors’ confidence in all the entities in FELDA’s stable and bring the company back to its glory days