Saturday, November 26, 2011

Serious blunder or dishonest reporting?

What war chest, Mr Leslie Lopez?  This is something the boys and girls at The Malaysian Insider won't be proud of, quoting the Straits Times of Singapore as alleging that:
 "... the ruling BN goverment hoped to raise as much as RM6 billion from publicly listing the federal land authority (sic) in March next year TO FUND ITS ELECTION WAR CHEST". 
Where the hell did Debra Chong get the idea about an election war chest?

Read her misleading piece below and Leslie Lopez's report that follows. Mr Lopez of ST did refer to the sum of RM6 billion (in the 2nd para of his story) ...
Malaysia's Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) could raise as much as RM6 billion (S$2.5 billion) from the listing. But its financial misadventures overseas are posing serious problems to its corporate reorganisation.
... but he made no mention whatsoever about an election war chest!

I am sure Felda will find the Insider's article offensive. The innocent reader would now wonder, was that an honest mistake or was that a dishonest reporting? (the phrase was used by this seasoned journalist who alerted me to the blunder just before dinner).

Whatever it is, the Insider owes Felda, the Straits Times of Singapore, and its readers an explanation. (Usually, editors don't mind apologizing for such mistakes though I know of one who now goes about as a "businessman" who refused to apologize for one of the greatest lies told in a newspaper column in Malaysia...)

The Malaysian Insider's "dishonest reporting":
Felda faces barriers to going public 
By Debra Chong  
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — State-owned Felda is experiencing problems in its overseas stakes that appear to threaten its planned listing and could further impact national polls widely expected to be called next year, the Singapore Straits Times reported today.  
The Singapore daily noted that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government hoped to raise as much as RM6 billion from publicly listing the federal land authority in March next year to fund its election war chest.  
But complications from Felda’s business ventures abroad, including a US-based vegetable oil processing company called Twin River Tech, have thrown a spanner in the works. Felda had acquired the plant in 2007 for RM241.4 million and was mulling selling it off to plantation giant Sime Darby, but the plan is also held up due to pricing issues.  
“Trimming the problem assets would make the listing more attractive, but finding buyers isn’t going to be easy,” the paper reported an anonymous senior banker close to the Felda restructuring plan as saying.  
It said Sime Darby’s Thai partner, PTT Chemical International — in another US-based oleochemical company — would unlikely support the proposal. It cited another anonymous banker as saying: 
“The (Felda) management has set end-March as the target for the listing. We will be lucky if we get it down by May.”  
According to ST, these complications were likely to add to the rising protests from some of the 113,000 Felda settlers who collectively own the controlling 51 per cent stake in the company and represent a crucial voting group.  
The crux of the matter, the paper reported, was because of Felda’s complex corporate structure. Felda Global Ventures Holdings, which handles many of the loss-making business ventures abroad, has a direct 49 per cent share in the main company called Felda Holdings. Felda Holdings is the money-spinning enterprise that handles the agricultural and plantation-focused side of the business in the country and is owned by the politically powerful settlers’ co-operative Koperasi Permodalan Felda, the Singapore paper observed.  
It noted too that Umno, the BN’s lynchpin party, had long depended on the co-operative members to deliver the votes in as many as 54 federal seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat. But the opposition Pakatan Rakyat had in recent months made inroads into this Malay-centric vote bank and exposed many financial irregularities and mismanagement within the Felda corporation, and fanned a groundswell of distrust against the ruling BN bloc.


The Straits Times' honest reporting:
Felda's planned listing faces hurdle 
Leslie Lopez, Senior Regional Correspondent 
25 November 2011 
Malaysian plantation giant having difficulty getting rid of problem assets overseas  
KUALA LUMPUR: One of the country's largest state-controlled plantation groups wants to spruce up its corporate profile with a major overhaul ahead of a public listing early next year.  
Malaysia's Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) could raise as much as RM6 billion (S$2.5 billion) from the listing. But its financial misadventures overseas are posing serious problems to its corporate reorganisation.  
These could attract opposition from the roughly 113,000 people who have settled on Felda plantations. Collectively, they control a major stake in the company and represent an important electoral voting bloc in peninsular Malaysia.  
That in turn could have far-reaching implications for Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, which is planning to call snap polls ahead of its five-year mandate expiring in mid-2013.  
'Trimming the problem assets would make the listing more attractive, but finding buyers isn't going to be easy,' said one senior banker close to the Felda restructuring.  
One major problem is Felda's investment in a loss-making United States-based vegetable oil processing company called Twin River Tech, which was acquired in 2007 for RM241.4 million.  
Felda is considering divesting its interest in the project to the Sime Darby plantation group, which also owns an oleochemical plant in the US. But the plan is facing problems over pricing issues. What is more, Thailand's PTT Chemical International, Sime Darby's joint-venture partner in US company Emery Oleochemicals, is unlikely to support the proposed acquisition, financial executives said.  
The complications arising from the financial troubles faced by Felda's international assets could delay the planned public listing targeted for the first quarter of next year, which the government hopes could raise as much as RM6 billion.  
'The (Felda) management has set end-March as the target for the listing. We will be lucky if we get it down by May,' said the chief executive of a Malaysian financial institution who is closely tracking Felda's corporate reorganisation.  
Several financial executives said that even if the deadline is met, coming up with a financial structure that will be palatable to the group's settler farmers, who collectively control a strategic equity block in the company, could be tough.  
The Felda group has a complex corporate structure. The government's wholly owned Felda Global Ventures Holdings, which owns many of the loss-making overseas operations, has a direct 49 per cent interest in the corporate jewel called Felda Holdings.  
Felda Holdings is the corporate stable for the group's profitable domestic agriculture businesses and other plantation-related business. It is 51 per cent owned by the politically powerful settlers' cooperative Koperasi Permodalan Felda.  
The plantation group's ethnic Malay settlers, who cast deciding votes in 54 parliamentary constituencies in peninsular Malaysia, collectively own the cooperative.  
Datuk Seri Najib's United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party has long relied on this group of voters to preserve its political dominance in the BN coalition government. But political analysts maintain that Parti Islam SeMalaysia, the country's religious opposition party which controls the state governments of northern Kedah and Kelantan, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, headed by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, have made inroads on Umno's stranglehold on this crucial electoral constituency in recent years.  
The analysts noted that a corporate restructuring of Felda that would dilute the value of the settlers' holdings in the plantation group is sure to be exploited by the opposition, which has in recent months uncovered alleged financial irregularities and mismanagement in the award of government contracts.  ENDS
Read also Big Dog's earlier response to Leslie's article, FGVH listing on track, investments abroad geared for winnings where the blogger made some clarifications. Big Dog has written quite extensively on the public listing of Felda in both his blog and the MSM.


  1. Ex-Journalist Now Soothsayer1:17 am

    Any paper with a god damn Kali bitch of a witch hovering in the background and with a guy whose name sounds like Jubohar is not worth a peek let alone a read.

    All types of garbage masquerading as news articles are churned out from this gutter press at will and one can easily cherry pick gems of deliberate lies, twisted subplots and outright wet fantasies if you have free time to spare on a Sunday morning.

    This is the ultimate virtual factory manufacturing stockpiles of lies and manned by immoral hatchet men and douche-bags supervised by a closet homo scumbag who is paid for from the largesse of business chicanery sequestered by the devil himself. A bloated ugly faced Kelingpariah and his gay sidekick spinning yarns that will leave even Rapunzel astounded.

    I thought only prostitutes and other lowlifes did not have a whiff of honour, now it seems the folks from MI and Malaysiakini run them dead heat on that score.

  2. Anonymous7:50 am

    We all know they need a fucking war chest... So why te drama rocky? You not getting enough bones to chew on?

  3. Anonymous7:59 am

    Can't possibly be more dishonest and blatant than the posting of a foreigner's photo on an UMNO blog alleging molest by Lim Guan Eng's son.


  4. Anonymous8:00 am

    Those who deliberately report falsehoods are dishonest. Those who deliberately withhold reporting the truth are equally dishonest.


  5. Anonymous8:56 am

    sir, where were you when utusan "misreported" news regarding the oppositions?

  6. Anonymous9:59 am


    Bagus la tu...
    Why don't you journalistas go and sort yourselves out instead of accusing each other of being spinners...

    Anyway, Rocky is known as a famous UMNO/BN spinner so he should't feel upset if the shoe is now on the other foot.


  7. Anonymous10:18 am

    At a time when many rich companies/individuals are buying out public listed companies to make them private, here we have our government selling out FELDA to make a profit of RM6 billion. Where will these ringgit go to?
    Talking about dishonest reporting, what about those concerning LGE's son?

  8. Anonymous11:01 am

    Tak kisah lah BETUL or SALAH cerita tu,,,,,,Rakyat mana ada duit sekarang,,apalagi MELAYU,,,tarak wang,,harapkan GOMEN je bagi sedekah...TQ BN,!!!!!

    Kalu jadi listed,,,,Banyak lagi Melayu bole beli kereta BARU,,BINI BARU and so solah.

    Apa sudah jadi dengan RINGGIT,,,masih bertakok at RM3.20 per USD. Dulu kata bole bertahan below RM2.70 - RM2.80,,??? mimpi sekejap bolelah!!!

    Di BURSA MALAYSIA,,ramai yang muntah DARAH,,!!!!

    Buat lah SURVEY sikit,,,BERAPA kerat MELAYU yang main SAHAM,!!!!

    Di GOLD SAVING account,,,bole kira MELAYU yang buat Simpanan,,,,MANA MELAYU mampu nak beli at RM177.35 per gram or RM177,350.00 per kilo nak melabur,,!!!!! Cuma CINA and INDIA juga yang MELABUR,!!!! MELAYU cuma harapkan SUBSIDI je!!!!

    Nasib baik ada RM100 per head untuk MURID Sekolah,,,kalu tidak tak sekolahlah .

    Rocky,,,,itu SAMAN RM400k sudah bayar ke,,,,,????? CEPAT-cepat bayar,,,nanti title DATUK pon bole hilang and masuk BANCRUPTCY pulak. Baik ada kawan DATUK,,,,jadi takada pulak!!!!

    Next week UMNO bersidang,,,agak BOLE tolong kasi NAIK itu BURSA MALAYSIA ke!!!! Duit tengah tak ada ni,,,!!!!



    Duit tarak jatuh dari langit Bodo, so lu kena kilija untuk buat duit lah. But agree with you, market is so boring and stale. That's why the listing of Felda is timely. If Najib can also replace Zarinah of the SC around the same time, the market will come twice. LagiBodo, I take it you are not a Felda settler, not married to one, not a 2nd generation, and are not a civil servant within Felda. So eat your heart out. Try and get some of the pink forms. Ingat, itu forms pun tara jatuh dari langit.

  10. Ex-Journo Now Soothsayer,

    Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan has on many occasions denied any involvement with The Malaysian Insider. Could be telling the truth. Jahabar, Leslie Lau may be his friends or he theirs, or both, but they won't get anywhere near his class, try as they may.


  11. Godfather,

    You are still seething over the many blog postings on Guan Eng's kid? Hehe. Let it go. That was a case of the politicians playing their games, protecting their own turfs, telling one another: You touch my kid, I touch yours.

    Guan Eng was politicizing his own son's issue, that to me was inexcusable. Go sue him for child abuse, GF!

  12. FELDA patut saman MI dan ST.

    Pasti mereka tidak berupaya buktikan.

    Pasti mereka akan tuntut off court settlemnt.

    Lakukan lepas ketok gong. Saham tak naik, pemegang saham patut saman sampai pengsan pemfitnah-pemfitnah.

    Sementang nak hampir pilihanraya, jangan main tuduh sebarangan.


  13. Anonymous1:54 pm


    The Truth is painful so swallow it with dignity and stop harping on Kalimullah just because he did you in decades ago....

    Vengeance may be sweet but he is way above your class...


  14. Anonymous3:09 pm

    "Dishonest reporting???" look--who's talking; and
    "Guan Eng was politicizing his own son's issue, that to me was inexcusable. Go sue him for child abuse, GF!"
    First you talk nuts; then bulls; and now you talk rots!! Go and sue LGE yourself for child abuse --this is your twisted idea.
    I pity you.

  15. sms condolences vis lawwsuit,, didja change fonnumbers? :)))

  16. Felda Kid5:04 pm

    Dato', whts yr view abt this, pls, thank you?

    PKR unveils strategies to woo Felda settlers

    JOHOR BARU: PKR kicks off its eight national congress here with a list of strategies to particularly woo voters in Felda settlements.

    Among others, the party is promising to dissolve Felda Plantations and give the land to new settlers.

    Party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the party also aimed to implement a minimum wage of RM1,100 per month.

    Opening the PKR congress here on Saturday, she said if Pakatan Rakyat came to power their ultimate target was to raise the minimum household income to RM4,000 in five years.

    She also promised PKR would choose better candidates for the next general election and will not compromise with enemies within.

    Among those present were Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and DAP leader Lim Kit Siang.

  17. Dear Glassman,

    Lawsuit re Selangor ex ADUN? If you are referring to the RM400k award made last week by the Court, it came as a surprise/shock to me. When Rose Azraai informed me about the judgement on Twitter the other day, I was clueless!

    Yes I was the Editor of the Malay Mail when the story was published in 2003 (I left in Feb 2006) but was never called by the lawyers to discuss the case. I understand the defendants (reporter, editor and the NSTP) did not call a single witness so I'm rather perplexed by the whole thing.

    As you know, I have a lawsuit pending, Kalimullah and Gang are suing me for defamation. They filed the suit in 2007 (Jan) and my next date in court is Jan next year (2012). The NSTP was the first plaintiff until 2009, when it decided to drop the suit against me.

    [Yes, I have changed numbers. Pls drop me]

  18. Bru,

    Blunder and dishonest reporting are also nothing new to MSM.

    A classic example below:

    After 10 years and after tenth billions of public money losses, only now they are telling it as it is!

  19. Feldakid!

    Good to know that the Felda settlers are getting the attention of Anwar Ibrahim's (or Wan Azizah's) PKR.

    Without the details of PKR's plans for Felda, I can only opine on the part that Wan Azizah said about giving Felda land to new settlers: It is not a groundbreaking strategy at all.

    To adopt this "strategy" at a time when Felda settlers are gearing up for the listing of Felda, which the settlers collectively own 51 per cent through their cooperative, shows that Wan Azizah is out of touch and makes PKR seem like it is ONE whole generation behind time.

    The proposed listing, in comparison, is aimed neatly not only at Felda pioneers but more importantlyu at the 2nd gen Felda children & beyond.

    Opening up, or "givig",land to "new" settlers was what the government started doing 40-5O years ago!

    Lack of response on Pkr's part to the proposed listing is also a good sign/news. Shows that Anwar and Co have no answer to the listing and/or agree that it is the move forward.


  20. Anonymous5:57 pm

    Latuk Locky:

    I won't let go of UMNO's fitnah against LGE's son because it will be made an election issue for all to decide. For your info, your buddies at MCA, Gerakan and MIC cringe at the mention of this dishonest reporting from UMNO blogs.

    Your blog is also as dishonest as it gets. There are plenty of mad cows in UMNO, and I sincerely hope you won't get infected by one. Remember it is not too late to abandon the dark side of the Force.


  21. Aiyo, Godfarter,
    Guan Eng want to bring his son campaigning ka ? Good la like that. Very early training for the boy liao. Najib should be like that also. Bring his children along for campaigning. They also kena dishonest reporting too what.

  22. Godfather,

    Big Cat is right. You reap what you sow. Guan Eng and gang have been attacking other politicans' sons, daughters, wives, etc. He got back what he gave. I maintain, however, that Guan Eng could have, should have been more earnest in defending his son. Instead he continued to play his political games, telling his mortal enemies in Umno to accuse his son openly so that he can sue them.. Apa punya bapak.

  23. Anonymous10:55 pm

    can you give me an example where LGE attacked other politicans' sons, daughters, wives, etc? He went to jail for attacking RTC on a truth - don't tell me RTC was innocent; RTC had to give up his chief ministership.
    Why should LGE defend his son when education authorities had exposed all your friend's lies.
    First you talk nuts, bulls, rots and now C+ck. I pity you.

  24. godfarters and the rest of the effing commenters -- malaysian insider is malaysian insidious. that was either misreporting or simply malice. you idiots just accept that-lah. either misreporting or malice. don't turn around and start pointing at the reports on LGE blah blah blah..
    if it was misreporting and malice in that LGE story, ok..that's bad. but that's political unless you purposely don't want to understand.

    i can pick out reports in malaysian insider and point out the contentious parts.

    jahabar, leslie lau, brendan plagiarist perera -- all machais of kalimullah.

    still don't get it?

  25. Jasper Bloodstone3:24 pm

    So, Rocky - are you questioning the accuracy or bonafides of Leslie Lopez's report?

    I could just as easily say that there's no love lost between you and the Singapore Straits Times...