KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): The termination of the Country Heights Growers Scheme (CHGS) may well go ahead, with many shareholders eager to take Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew’s "goodwill" offer and cut their investment losses.
Lee's offer is welcomed by many shareholders as an easy way out of the failing scheme. But many did not get to know what they came for – an answer on the scheme's failure.
Lee evaded questions calling for him to explain the failure of the scheme. Among the questions left unanswered was one requesting for the original projected fresh fruit bunch yield of the palm oil plantations in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
"I don't want to talk about why the yield is so bad. I just want to establish that the bad yield is the trust, so shareholders can
determine if they want to terminate the scheme," said Lee amid a tensed meeting with disgruntled shareholders.
Lee also encountered resistance from a small pocket of shareholders who were dissatisfied with the last minute nature of Lee's offer. They called for the vote to be postponed to a later date so that Lee's offer could be included in the circular.
Lee however noted that his offer was made strictly in his personal capacity and not part of the resolution today. On top of that, his “goodwill” package is conditional upon the resolutions being passed today.
Some shareholders said that they felt bullied into making the
decision, but were contented with the offer as it would allow them to get their money back within six months instead of two years.
After a long three-hour meeting peppered with emotionally charged discussions, shareholder made a disorderly exit, cast their votes, and went for lunch.
Lee's goodwill offer was to return 90% of shareholder's capital to them within six months, as well as a RM25 million payout which works out to be 11.6% yield.
"If I can recover all my capital, it is enough for me. Including the RM25 million sweetener and the yield I have been collecting since the scheme started, my investment has returned about 60%," said one shareholder.
Some other shareholders were skeptical about Lee's personal guarantee to return the funds promptly, but Lee insisted that he would be able to pay the monies back to shareholders.
Voting on the resolution to terminate the scheme ended at 3 pm and counting of the ballots has just started. The outcome is expected to be known soon.