Media stance on Isa Samad and Shahrir Samad regarding the FELDA issue


Back in January 2017, Shahrir Samad replaced Isa Samad as the chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). Later in June 2017, Isa Samad resigned as Felda Global Venture (FGV) chairman and was appointed as SPAD acting chairman by the Prime Minister’s Office after facing scandal regarding the misappropriation of FGV fund. The Jalan Semarak land scandal also started to surface around the same time. Each news outlet took their own stance on Isa Samad leadership in FELDA and FGV. As a chain of event, the media also reported on Shahrir Samad for his leadership in FELDA after replacing Isa Samad as chairman.


Malaysian Today explicitly attacking Isa Samad by calling him an incompetent leader. The news portal editor, Raja Petra Kamarudin wrote a thorough article about Isa Samad illustrating his past mistakes.


Pro-opposition news portal such as Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today and The Malaysian Insight attack both previous and current FELDA chairman, Isa Samad and Shahrir Samad respectively. They portrayed Isa Samad as a corrupted leader in their reporting regarding scandals involving FELDA. Plus, they condemned the Prime Minister Office’s decision of electing Isa Samad as SPAD chairman. While for Shahrir Samad, the presses covered Rafizi Ramli’s opinion about the Jalan Semarak land issue. Rafizi Ramli does not believe FELDA have obtained back their lands in Jalan Semarak.


Mainstream presses like News Straits Times and Berita Harian indirectly attack Isa Samad during his arrest by MACC. They published image of him wearing the infamous orange lock-up uniform during his remand proceeding in court. Besides, they also emphasized in their headlines that Isa Samad is not a witness but a suspect in MACC’s investigation. Where else, their support for Shahrir Samad is obvious in their reporting. They depicted Shahril Samad as a solution to FELDA’s controversies in their news.


Pro-government media such as Utusan and Bernama does not attack Isa Samad in the midst of FELDA’s controversies. Reports about him are slanted towards the neutral side rather than the supporting side. However, their support for Shahrir Samad were clear as they only wrote positive things about him since his appointment as FELDA chairman.


As we can see from the media stance, the pro-government news outlet tried to make Shahrir Samad as the protagonist of FELDA and Isa Samad as the antagonist. Meanwhile, the pro-opposition news portals were sceptical on Shahrir Samad because they don’t believe that the past scandal in FELDA will be instantly solved by him.