Saturday, June 26, 2010
Felda Bankrupt: Lawsuit just ain't enough
The perception that "Felda" bankrupt being perpetrated by Suara Keadilan in their June 22-29th 2010 issue is totally absurd and a lie.
Many felt Suara Keadilan and PKR officials deserve to be sued by "Felda" because it could affect their reputation and overseas ventures.
This blogger beg to differ on the action and felt it to be unnecessary. Furthermore, lawsuit just ain't enough.
Suara Keadilan could have describe it as cashflow situation for it is more believable. But what kind of cashflow situation?
The fact that cash position of "Felda" is reduced from RM4.08 billion to RM2.73 billion for 2009 doesn't tell anything about a tightening situation. Felda is a cash rich company with its huge cash reserve known to be floating in our money market.
Note the inverted commas used for Felda and other terms later. It will be explained later. In this case, it means almost Felda but not exactly Felda. Suffice to say, it is indicative of "Felda".
"Felda" cannot go bankrupt as the perception game being played by PKR. It has 340,000 hectare plantation and total asset rose from RM9.17 billion for 2004 to RM15.37 billion for 2009. There is no lawsuit or any judgement executed to adjudicate bankruptcy.
Perhaps some will argue that what about the liability side? Old blue chip Sime Darby can fail when untrained hands and robbers have a hand in the cookie jar. That is a possibility but all this talk of bankruptcy arise because Idris Jala couldn't shut his f**king mouth.
What is really needed upon "Felda" to improve their transparency and information dissemination. Felda could easily dispell such slander with preemptive public relation and media strategy. They have no problem to get media coverage thus, there is no need for the lawsuit.
For assurance, the simple logic that it has huge cash reserve and Banks are licking their kneecap to give them loans only shows they do not have high borrowing. Their six years average net profit from plantation is RM1.1 billion. There is no issue of them not meeting their financial commitment at all.
The rumour that Felda Global Venture was facing losses could be simply dispelled off based on reason that they were new investments and still awaiting to bear fruits. In Felda, they are used to waiting five years for oil palm tree to begin harvesting their fruit.
Having said that, do the officials at "Felda" understand what is Suara Keadilan doing?
Dato Ahmad Maslan explained it briefly in his press conference yesterday that PKR is targeting the safe BN stronghold seats at the Rancangan Felda. Other than some rancangan in Jerantut that was filled up by PAS members during Dato Asri's time at Kementerian Tanah dan Galian, most of Felda settlers are BN supporters.
That still doesn't mean the "Felda" officials understood what was happening. As far as PKR is concerned, they need to instill amongst Felda settlers some doubt in the management of Felda.
Imagine, if 1,000 copies of Suara Keadilan is bought and left at coffee shops for public to read. Assume 20 people read it or at least saw the headline, that means 20,000 people were made known that Felda is bankrupt.
This is still assuming they do not believe it.
All it takes are some grouses of Felda settlers over some administrative issues with management or bureaucrasy caused problems to prolong. Then some instigator will start to remind of this Felda Bankrup news on Suara Keadilan. It will then spread like wild fire and have a life of its own.
If the Felda officials attitude is to say, "jangan layan fitnah" and claim the moral ground that "people will know and appreciate them" because they are honest and capable, their situation can be described as good as mampus.
Allow me to correct something here. Common people are not concern to know what is happening in Felda.
Members of the public with concern for public issues are small in preportion. Majority of them tend to be critical. They have a tendency to seek for untold stories and so-called inside information because they believed mainstream newspapers are not free.
The Felda officials thinking that "the truth shall set them free, hellalujah" must be naive to think so. Once a negative perception sinks in, it is very difficult to change, even with facts and figure. Try to reverse the perception of that PAS demonstrator lying across the road with a Palestinian flag to hold up a car.
What more with our bureaucrat tendency to just go by a simple "nafi nafi" to dispell false allegations without giving convincing details?
Now, the explanation for the quote and unquote used earlier.
Take for instance, the "Felda" press conference by Dato Ahmad Maslan yesterday. He himself couldn't exactly answer with confidence a question by a blogger on whether the RM15.37 billion was total asset or net asset as in after netting liabilities or net as in revalued assets.
This is not to blame him because he is not financially trained. The two officials next to him shouldn't be keeping bisu like a pengantin but speak up and explained. They were saved because the blogger decide not to drill them further to avoid embarassment.
In these days, it is questions coming out from amateur reporter cum bloggers that stand out than the reporters in press conferences. Our reporters are so shy to ask questions. This is the product of KBSR and KBSM education system.
Then the issue of "Felda".
What is meant by "Felda" and all these numbers? There are many "Felda"s - Felda Corporation, Felda Holdings, Felda Proper and Koperasi Felda. Excluding the subsidiaries, there is also the new entity set up by Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh called Felda Global Ventures.
Where is FGV in the scheme of thing is confusingly explained by one official. Not because it was not understood, but because it does not made sense why it is placed above certain entities.
The usual attitude of Government officials when stuck and unable to explain, they go on their "we-know-better" excuse and body language. The question is not explained. One do not know if he does not know.
All these points to the need for Felda to be clear in explaining their position and not be too secretive. Being secretive these days, it only made one more mysterious and attracts more speculation.
Felda cannot afford not to take preemptive measures. Otherwise, they will fall to be come victims of irresponsible political perception game based on lies, misinformation and slander.
Will their lawsuit helps? By right, the lawsuits should shut the mouth of the other side from talking about the case. But that did not stopped Anwar and PKR from spreading lies about his sodomy case, did it?
Having known the answer, answer another one. How long before these lawsuit will reach the court and get judgement? I'll rephrase. How many years before bicara even begin?
You think it is smart move now? You think it is good to shut up?
Assuming, they can shut up the leaders of PKR and Suara Keadilan. Can they shut up bloggers, facebook, twitters and SMS? Can they shut up Joe Public? Can they can sue all of them?
Good luck. aggresively suing every other person also does not make Felda look good.
By then, many Rancangan Felda voters bought into the lies and end up voting Pakatan. If bicara only about to start, they could direct the Felda lawyers to withdraw the lawsuit. Because they could already be in Government.
The duped voters would only realised a bit too late. By then, just like what happened to Penang Malays today, they only realised they are now further racially discriminated and marginalised. They realised too late the danger of voting DAP out of anger.
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