Windfall an end to settler privileges, warns Husam
PAS vice president Husam Musa has warned Felda settlers that if they accepted the 'windfall' bait from prime minister Najib Razak, their benefits as settlers would be forfeited for generations to come.
Citing statements by Najib, Felda chairman Isa Samad and minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Maslan in pushing forward the listing plan for Felda Global Venture Holding despite protests, Husam said it was a clear sign that the listing’s main aim was to fund UMNO’s political war chest in time for the polls.
"Settlers’ interest is more important than funding the ruling party’s political war chest," Husam said, and added that several individuals would become wealthy overnight.
"The windfall bait will permanently end all privileges enjoyed by settlers whether it is the first generation or any of the next,” he added.
Speaking to some 800 Felda settlers at a Felda convention in Shah Alam, the Kelantan state exco claimed that under Section 37 of the Group Settlement Act, no entities including Felda had a right over the 380,000 hectares of settlers’ land which would be mortgaged to FGVH for a total of 99 years for the listing.
Under the Act, Husam said there would be only individual and cooperative ownership.
“Felda's duty is to manage the land for the settlers, not to own anything," he said.
Former federal minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir meanwhile questioned the motive behind the FGVH listing.
“At a time when giant corporations are trying to get away from listing to regain freedom, Felda is doing the opposite. This has to be explained.
"A company only goes for listing if it requires more money to expand business, but Felda is cash-rich and asset-rich, why the need for listing?” asked the veteran Kedah UMNO leader who recently quit the party.