JOHOR BARU: The Federal Land Development Authority's (Felda) board of directors was not informed of the transfer of ownership of Felda land in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur.

National Felda Settlers chief Samsuddin Othman said the board was only notified of the proposal to develop the land by the previous Felda management.

According to him, it included the suggestion to develop a commercial center consisting of a hotel that could contribute to Felda’s revenue.

“The board of directors approved the project but we were not informed of who would be developing it, what more if a land ownership transfer was involved,” he told a press conference at the Johor Baru Felda office today.

Samsudin sits on the Felda board and represents the Settlers Consultation Committee (JKKP) which represents some 112,635 settlers from 317 Felda settlements nationwide.

He stressed that the board did not know the details behind the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City project and that the previous Felda management failed to be transparent in making a business decision.

“JKKP only knew that Felda’s land on Jalan Semarak belonged to someone else through the mass media; if we had found out earlier, no such thing would happen.”

Samsuddin said Felda as a whole was disappointed in the poor management which led to the debacle and fully supports the current management under the leadership of Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, that will ensure the land worth millions of ringgit is returned to Felda.

“In whatever way possible, the land must be returned to Felda as it is our asset.”

The land parcels are estimated to be worth RM270 million, with ownership of the land reportedly transferred to another company.

Shahrir had said upon discovering the deal, Felda immediately placed private caveats on the lands involved.

He also said internal investigations commencing next month will be carried out by a third party, which will be appointed by the Prime Minister's Department.

National Felda Settlers chief Samsuddin Othman (centre) addresses the media at the Johor Baru Felda office. Pic by ZAIN AHMED