Felda gets KL land back, probe into 'dubious deal' continues

Land developer Synergy Promenade has returned ownership of a parcel of land to Malaysian national land development agency Felda at no cost.
Land developer Synergy Promenade has returned ownership of a parcel of land to Malaysian national land development agency Felda at no cost.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's national land development agency Felda has regained ownership of a RM200 million (S$67 million) parcel of land in Kuala Lumpur which was allegedly transferred to a local company in 2015 in a fraudulent transaction.

At a press conference on Monday (Jan 15), chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority Shahrir Abdul Samad said the developer of the Jalan Semarak land, Synergy Promenade, has agreed to return ownership of all 16 lots to Felda at no cost.

According to The Star, Tan Sri Shahrir told reporters that all related documents will be returned to be registered under Felda's name.

However, he said the agency has no intention of withdrawing the police reports it lodged in December regarding the transaction. The case is being investigated under the Penal Code for cheating and forgery.

"The police report is to investigate the alleged misconduct or fraud involving the ownership transfer that was done illegally," he said, according to national news agency Bernama.

"The ongoing forensic audit will also be continued to identify if there is any mismanagement in the transaction," Mr Shahrir said.

Investigation papers on the land transfer are expected to be submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers by the end of this week, The Star reported.

Earlier media reports said that under the "dubious deal", Felda did not receive a single cent when ownership of the land was transferred in 2015.

According to the New Straits Times, the land transfer took place after Felda subsidiary Felda Investment Corp appointed Synergy Promenade as its main developer in 2014, and the developer was granted full power of attorney to develop the land.

Despite the ongoing probes, Mr Shahrir said yesterday that Synergy Promenade would continue with the project on site - the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City featuring seven towers - as the relevant development approvals had been obtained.

According to the NST, Mr Shahrir said that Felda will negotiate with Synergy Promenade to improve the terms and agreement of the project development.

Felda has been in the news recently after its former chairman Mohd Isa Samad was replaced in January. He was in August questioned to help in a corruption probe, allegedly involving the land agency overpaying hundreds of millions of ringgit for two hotels in London and Sarawak.