Syed Mokhtar agrees to allocate RM10 million funds to farmers - Anwar
SHAH ALAM - Tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary has agreed to allocate RM10 million funds this year and RM50 million, next year for poor local farmers.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the agreement was reached following reprimands over the issue of monopolising rice imports.
"I also highlighted the problem of monopoly on rice imports in this country and my government will no longer allow it to continue when the interests and rights of poor farmers are being trampled on endlessly.
"This government will take steps to investigate the previous government's extreme expenditure reaching RM600 billion without tender to examine the extent of leakage and malpractice, and who are the ones plotting wealth when the people and the country face pandemic crisis," he said in a Facebook post on Monday.
In another development, Anwar reprimanded Syed Mokhtar over the latter's monopoly of the industry.
"To be fair, we need to know that the approved permits (AP) of rice is not a concession and is not awarded to him but also to Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas)," he said.
The Tambun MP said one Tan Sri Tan Boon Seng had then owned 31 per cent of Bernas and another company owned by Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim also had a stake in it.
"Syed Mokhtar bought Bernas from Boon Seng for around RM800 million and RM400 million from Shahidan.
“As such, he certainly has financial obligations to fulfill,” he said.
Anwar said the government would not allow monopolies by certain politicians
"Currently, we can't only put the burden on Syed Mokhtar until we can examine his profits whether the returns are reasonable," he said.
As a result, he said, Syed Mokhtar was urged to give an allocation of RM10 million to poor farmers this month and RM50 million from Bernas starting next year.
"I only gave such example as it is a good governance arrangement rather than a Malay or Islamic slogan," he said.