“The FELDA Quarrel and its National Ramifications” by Khor Yu Leng is out and downloadable at this link:
The ferocity of the public quarrel that broke out during Ramadhan at Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV, a public-listed group associated with the Federal Land Development Authority or FELDA) suggests that Prime Minister Najib Razak is not in full control of UMNO and will not call for early general elections.CEO Zakaria Arshad (a son of settlers and a FELDA insider) garnered support amid general calls to oust UMNO strongman Isa Samad as FGV’s non-executive Chairman.
Social media exposés about dodgy corporate deals and illegitimate spending at FGV triggered an anti-corruption investigation.
FELDA’s Malay voters hold sway in almost a quarter of Malaysia’s parliamentary constituencies. Survey data show sliding support for UMNO-BN in a majority of these seats.
Chinks in the FELDA-FGV armour are keenly eyed by the wily ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed who opposes Najib and has been enjoying unprecedented access to FELDA areas.