Razali counters accusations against Felda London investment

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Razali Ibrahim has rubbished claims by Rafizi Ramli that Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FIC) does not own the London property that is currently under probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department's statement came in light of the revelation made by the PKR vice-president that FIC London Hotel Pte Ltd - the company that purportedly owns the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel - was shut down May last year.

Razali explained that the company Rafizi was referring to was the initial company formed for the purpose of investment in the UK.

He pointed out that a new company with an almost similar name - FIC London Hotel (Private) Limited or FLH - was later formed, and is now the owner of the hotel.

"We still own the hotel. But why didn't Rafizi mention about this existing company, and only highlighted the one that was formed in the early stages that no longer exists.

"If he had done his homework, he would have found the registration number of the existing company still in operation.

"This matter was played up by the opposition to confuse the rakyat, more so that the General Election is coming close. As if we did something that would affect the Felda settlers," he told a press conference, here, today, while producing a copy of the share certificate of FLH dated Oct 13.

Razali added that the initial company was shut down as FIC had another platform to work with, and that is was struck off by the authorities there due to it being dormant.

Rafizi had, on Oct 19, claimed that the company owning the hotel, which is under probe by MACC for allegedly being overpaid by Felda, had closed its doors on May 3, 2016.

Explaining the matter further, FIC chairman Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said the new company was formed as there was a change in terms of FIC's investment structure subsequent to the incorporation of the first one.

"So instead of making use of the first company, another one was formed. That should explain why the original company was formed and (is) no longer in use," he said.

Meanwhile, Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said Felda does not plan to take Rafizi to court over the matter, as he regarded the latter's statement not as an accusation but merely a demand for answers.

On a separate development, Razali also announced FIC's new board of directors, who were appointed in April this year, which included Syed Mohamed, Felda director-general Ab Ghani Mohd Ali and seven others, both from the government and private sector.

Shahrir had in January told the entire board of directors of FIC to resign to facilitate the reorganisation of the company.