Hopefully Felda White Paper brings settlers fresh expectations
Last Update: 11/04/2019
TAWAU, April 11 (Bernama) -- The White Paper towards the sustainability of Felda which was tabled in Dewan Rakyat yesterday by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali hopefully will bring fresh expectations to settlers.
Felda Umas 1 settler, Abdul Mumin Abd Rahim said the White Paper listed the important gists to inject fresh energy and optimise potential through a short, medium and long term plan in returning the glory of Felda.
"(Current) there are delays in cost of living, harvest advance (payments) and numerous other problems, indeed what was tabled yesterday was good (White Paper), more than a windfall.
"Since the announcement yesterday, we (settlers) were shocked that Felda’s cash flow was such after it was revealed by the Pakatan Harapan government. It is true, as rightly we (Felda) after several decades should have profit, but why we (Felda) become worse and worse," he said when met at Felda Umas 1, which is located about 70 km from Tawau town, near here today.
Yesterday, the White Paper, which was tabled by Azmin, revealed that the Felda cash flow was at a critical level and the cash balance deteriorated from the average RM2.5 billion from 2007 to 2011 to RM400 million in 2017, while the cash balance last year plunged to only RM35 million.
In the meantime, Abdul Mumin hoped the prompt implementation of the White Paper would boost the integrity in the governance of Felda.
"We accept what is given to us. As the first generation in Felda Umas 1, we hope the Felda system will the best in the world as previously. Not only for us but for the subsequent generations and if possible it is opened to other people, because Felda is good, except for the current financial constraint," he said.
Meanwhile, another Felda Umas 1 settler, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman hoped that the government could stabilise Felda as before.
"Stable. And we hope the payments of the cost of living allowance are not delayed. This is what we want. If possible, raise the RM1,400 to RM1,900 and settlers can receive a clean RM1,000 after deducting debts," he said.
Another Felda Umas 1 settler, Muhd Idrus Kijan hoped the current government could take cognisance of the difficult lives of the settlers.