Baling MP pleads with fed govt not to sell Tabung Haji plantation land in Sarawak

Harvested oil palm fruits. — file pic

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By Adrian Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25: Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim pleaded with the Finance Ministry not to sell off the plantation land held by Tabung Haji in Sarawak.

Abdul Azeez who is the former Tabung Haji chairman asserted that selling the land will not benefit the pilgrims’ fund and its depositors for the long-term.

He believed the said sale by Tabung Haji should be halted and any land disposal by the pilgrims’ fund by the federal government should be discussed with the members of the Perikatan Nasional (PNBC) backbenchers club.

“Today, palm oil (sic) prices have traded past RM3,300 per tonne and could fetch RM3,500 per tonne in the near future.

“What’s more is that the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak is built close to the land held by Tamaco Plantation Sdn Bhd in Sarawak.

“The capital of Indonesia will be also be relocated to Kalimantan and the land held by Tabung Haji is just located 35 minutes’ (drive) away,” he said in Parliament today.

Abdul Azeez who is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) raised the issue during question-and-answer time at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

Earlier, he asked the Finance Ministry about the financial performance of Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd (UJSB), a wholly owned unit of the ministry which took over the assets of Lembaga Tabung Haji worth RM19.9 billion and the amount of payment to the pilgrims’ fund this year.

Subsequently, Abdul Azeez revealed BNBC held a discussion yesterday with the top management of Tabung Haji.

Abdul Azeez added, Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who is also the PNBC head had in the discussion voiced his concern over the land sale by Tamaco Plantation Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Tabung Haji Plantations Bhd.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had in September during the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) mini convention in Betong disclosed the Sarawak government will take over all Tabung Haji plantations in Sarawak in an effort to boost the income of smallholders.

He added the state government was negotiating with Tabung Haji on the acquisition cost of the said land. — DayakDaily