In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, two million-dollar properties were flipped by an American fund and sold to Felda Global Ventures, a government-controlled plantation company set up to improve the lives of settlers in the country’s poorest states, says a prominent opposition politician.
Rafizi Ramli, MP for Pandan, claims Felda paid Mr. Charles Erik Jobsen of Delta Partners RM8.4 million ringgit for two condominium units at The Troika in Bukit Bintang – touted as Malaysia’s first ultra luxury residential development – homes so exclusive, that some property agents say they are too expensive.
Designed by the world renowned Brit architects Foster+Partners and built by upscale developer BDRB, The Troika is an award-winning tower development with stunning views of the city centre.
WorldFutureTV can reveal that Charles Erik Jobsen is portfolio manager for Delta Partners, which holds US$660 million in assets under management and is based in the One International Place, Boston’s sixth tallest building.
It is still unknown how many more Troika units Delta Partners owns – but it is said that in recent times, some cash -rich foreign buyers have been taking advantage of the weaker Malaysian ringgit to snap up local properties at a bargain. Some KL-based properties, are already trading at a discount , given weakening market conditions.
On his blog, Mr. Rafizi published documents signed by Mr.Charles and Felda CEO Mr. Emir Mavani Abdullah, who left Felda in March this year.
“Why did Felda buy luxury condominiums for RM8.4 million?” read the title of a press statement Mr. Rafizi posted on Facebook, which has become a sort of de facto platform for some local politicians.
WorldFutureTV links Mr. Charles to Delta Partners by virtue of the vendor’s address in those documents – One International Place, Suite 2401, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, U.S.A. Rafizi’s point is that companies like Felda, which are technically controlled by the government, should also act and behave prudently from a financial standpoint – and hence, he is asking Towards the end of Emir’s tenure, Felda has come increasingly under the scrutiny of investors as well as sharp-eyed opposition politicians like Mr.Rafizi.
Its proposed purchase of Indonesia’s Eagle High Plantations for RM2.89 billion was scrapped at the very last minute, while another deal to buy a 55% stake in Chinese edible oil producer Zhong Ling Nutril-Oil seems to have hit a rut.
In the case of Eagle High, Felda was alleged to have been proposing to pay a hefty premium for the purchase, while for Zhong Ling, the company’s accounts had not been audited since 2013.
The company is cutting costs aggressively this year, after diving deeper into the red in the third quarter of 2015, making a net loss of RM33.92 million – a drastic 263.5% decline from last year’s fortunes, despite posting higher revenue of RM4.51 billion.
That year, CPO prices plunged to a six year low of RM1,975 per tonne, prompting Indonesia and Malaysia to announce joint initiatives to divert more excess production to biodiesel use, along with replantation measures.
If anything, the Troika expose could dent rural support for the ruling Barisan Nasional government, which has made supporting the palm oil industry a reference point and the cornerstone of its campaign to stay in power.
The Felda program was created to bring native settlers and landowners out of poverty by planting oil palm on their lands and giving them back a portion of their profits.
Felda settlements, which represent a vote bank of about 1.2 million voters, broadly supported Barisan Nasional in the last general election, with a range of 65% to 90% from state to state, based on research conducted by Singapore-based agribusiness analyst Khor Yu Leng.
This latest, explosive allegation by Mr. Rafizi comes barely weeks after he was charged in court for revealing classified excerpts from Malaysia Auditor-General’s report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd, another scandal-ridden government-linked company.
If convicted, Mr. Rafizi faces up to seven years’ jail time.
Yesterday, Nancy Shukri, a minister in charge of law-related affairs, said Mr.Rafizi would not be protected under whistleblower laws because he had made disclosures to the media and not to the government directly.
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