Former Felda chairman signed power of attorney in dubious land transfer

Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad signed the power of attorney in 2014, giving Synergy Promenade rights over the eight-hectare plot in Jalan Semarak.
Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad signed the power of attorney in 2014, giving Synergy Promenade rights over the eight-hectare plot in Jalan Semarak.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - A power of attorney used in the dubious transfer of prime Kuala Lumpur land belonging to Malaysian agency Felda was signed by its former chairman, Parliament heard on Monday (March 12).

Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, a former vice-president in ruling party Umno, had in 2014 signed the power of attorney that gave property developer Synergy Promenade rights over the eight-hectare plot on Jalan Semarak.

"The PA was signed by the then Felda chairman and its then general manager," said Razali Ibrahim, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, referring to Tan Sri Isa and former Felda general manager Faizoull Ahmad.

Datuk Razali was responding to questions from lawmakers over the deal in which the land was subsequently transferred to Synergy Promenade for RM270 million (S$91 million), without the Federal Land Development Authority receiving any payment and allegedly without Felda's knowledge.

"This isn't about who's right or wrong since the investigation is still ongoing. As I mentioned there were recommendations, findings from forensic auditing," said Mr Razali.

The land, which is now reportedly valued at RM1 billion, is the site for Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC), a development comprising seven towers.

The land transfer reportedly 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.

Current Felda chairman Shahrir Samad had alleged that the developer may have misused the power of attorney to transfer the land to itself. The case is being investigated under the Penal Code for cheating and forgery.

Mr Razali told Parliament on Monday that the power of attorney "is irrevocable and its full powers were not explained, to the extent it allowed the company that had the PA to use the PA as though they owned the land".

"As chairman, he (Shahrir) was astonished why the Land Office did not call Felda to verify and this is why forensic auditing involved looking at the procedure for land transfers at the Land Office," Mr Razali added.

On Friday (March 9), Tan Sri Shahrir announced that Felda had obtained all 16 plots of land back from Synergy Promenade at no cost.

Several cases of alleged mismanagement and questionable investments have surfaced in Felda in recent years.

Mr Isa, who was replaced as chairman in January last year had been questioned in a corruption probe, allegedly involving the land agency overpaying hundreds of millions of ringgit for two hotels in London and Sarawak.