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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FELDA council slams opposition, ANAK over windfall demand


The prime minister during the announcement of the windfall for FELDA settlers earlier this month. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — The Malaysia FELDA Youth Council (MBFM) has slammed the opposition for demanding the government give settlers a windfall of up to RM50,000 each and not RM15,000 only.
Its president Anuar Abd Manaf said their demand showed that the opposition was shallow and ignorant of FELDA’s real strength, its expenditure and strategic planning drawn up in the interest of the FELDA settlers.
“They (opposition) themselves once said that FELDA was bankrupt. This means they don’t know FELDA’s strength. Actually, a lot of assistance has been given to the settlers and not just the recent windfall payment,” he told Bernama today.
Anuar said among the assistance were interest-free housing loans, cost of living allowance of RM1,000 to RM1,500 during the replanting period, RM1,000 contribution for the settlers’ children entering university and Hari Raya bonus.
Other forms of assistance are in the form of allocations for mosques and the cleaning of drains and canals, programmes in the land schemes like the Settlers’ Day celebration and allowance for block leaders.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had before this, asked the government to pay each settler family, RM50,000 in windfall and not RM15,000 as announced.
The opposition-linked Persatuan ANAK Peneroka FELDA Kebangsaan (ANAK), the national association of FELDA settlers’ children, had claimed that the windfall given by the government was the result of theirs and the opposition’s effort.
ANAK president Mazlan Aliman was quoted as saying that the settlers should receive RM30,000 and not RM15,000, according to its logic.
On May 8, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a windfall of RM15,000 for each FELDA settler nationwide.
At the event, Najib also announced three more incentives which he described as a windfall too, namely a trust fund, blue forms for FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd (FGVH) shares for the settlers, and additional money for the FELDA Foundation fund to rehabilitate old, traditional villages in the FELDA land schemes.
The total windfall amounted to RM1.689 billion with RM5,000 going to each  participant, RM5,000 to the wife and another RM5,000 to their children.
Currently, there are 112,635 settlers in 317 FELDA land schemes nationwide.
Anuar criticised ANAK as its leaders had never been part of FELDA’s leadership and hence, did not know where FELDA’s funds should go to, but were always partial to hearsay.
“The government has reason to give the RM15,000 windfall. In this matter, the prime minister knows better,” he said.
Anuar said the move for the listing of FGVH was also opposed by the opposition out of malice for the government, as they did not want it to be a reality and a success. — Bernama

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