PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has challenged Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to a debate on Felda.
Najib said Bersatu’s Azmin Ali could help “his boss” with the debate.
“I have no problem debating on Felda but I don’t want to debate Azmin. I welcome a debate with his boss, Muhyiddin, instead,” he said in a Facebook post today.
Najib then listed a series of questions, among them asking why the Perikatan Nasional administration did not give an allotment to Felda to abolish its debt but forced it to take on a new debt of RM9.9 billion in 2020 instead.
Azmin, who is international trade and industries minister, had challenged Najib to a debate on Felda yesterday.
“The issue here is that Felda was destroyed during his administration. There is evidence which clearly shows the purchase of real estate overseas, which is currently under investigation by the authorities.
“The White Paper has proven that the betrayal against Felda settlers is too obvious and Najib cannot thump his chest, claiming it was Umno that saved Felda since it was under his leadership that the future of Felda settlers was crushed,” Azmin reportedly said.
Azmin was referring to the Felda White Paper he had prepared when he was economic affairs minister under the Pakatan Harapan administration.
The paper, which revealed the shortcomings of Felda during Najib’s tenure as prime minister, was later presented to Parliament.
Among the shortcomings was Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd, an affiliate of Felda, spending RM3.3 billion on unprofitable investments and developments, incurring huge debts and losses after being publicly listed in 2012 under Najib’s Barisan Nasional administration.
Issues surrounding Felda are a hot topic ahead of the March 12 Johor elections given that many of the constituencies have such settlements.