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Posted: 08 May 2012 11:30 PM PDT

I took time off on 08 May 2012 to watch the live telecast the announcement by the Prime Minister to Felda settlers on the incentive of FGVH listing at Bursa Malaysia. The outcome was very pleasant and the settlers well deserve it. To those Settlers who opposed to the listing they can now bite their bullet. As usual those who opposed are PAS & PKR Sympathizers whose habit is to oppose just for the sake of opposing. Nothing that the Government does is right!! 

Felda is somehow sentimental to me for several reasons:- 

Way back a couple of months after Merdeka, two (2) of the kampong residents where I lived packed their families and migrated to Lurah Bilut - the first Felda settlement in Malaya then. The pioneers cleared the jungles with their bare hands with axes and parangs as there was no such thing as mechanization back then. They lived on makeshift hut and water from the river, swamp or rain. Light was from kerosene lamp or the moon. The first Felda scheme was inaugurated on 1 April 1958 with 5171 ha. Sadly, along with the migration to Lurah Bilut, I had to say good bye to a childhood playmate, Badiozaman bin Harun whose father was one of the pioneer settlers. I have no trace of Badiozaman and had not met him since then.

In 1964 I used to spend the school term break and stayed a couple of days at a newly open Felda scheme, Sungai Klah near Sungkai. My Auntie's husband an ex Army personnel joined the scheme. Back then, life for the settlers was very difficult. There was no electricity and pipe water. I went back to basic but enjoyed the environment, the fresh air and the clean clear water at the streams. The road to the scheme was only red earth, dusty during hot weather and muddy during the rainy season. Bus service was only twice a day from the town of Sungkai. For the first four (4) years the settlers merely lived on RM 60 per month to feed the family. Today all my five (5) cousins had graduated from various Universities, locally and overseas and doing well in life. One of my cousins was the first from the scheme on Federal Government scholarship to study Engineering in Wichita, USA.

Personally I had served Felda - on secondment from Guthrie Bhd from Dec 1974 to July 1977. I assisted on commissioning the Felda Johore Bulkers Sdn Bhd Palm Oil Bulk Terminal in Pasir Gudang Johore. Position held was from the Terminal Superintendent to Assistant Terminal Manager. It was at this Terminal on 14 January 1976, the father of FELDA and the second Prime Minister of Malaysia late Tun Abdul Razak passed away in London. I don't know for what reasons, the following morning, I shed a tear, like losing love one. I had a lot of fond memories when I was attached to commission the Felda 60% own Terminal. We were just like the early settlers in Felda scheme as Pasir Gudang was lacking all infrastructures then. We were the pioneers at the new Port. Today I am proud that FJB is the biggest Vegetable Oil Terminal in the World and I had a hand on it.

FELDA has made the country proud and it is the best settlement schemes in the world where other countries wish to duplicate. Felda started with 5171 hectares of land in 1958 and now having a total land bank of 850,000 hectares. I wish FELDA all the best in the new venture of FGVH (Felda Global Venture Holding).

I wish to give my tribute to all the Felda settlers in Malaysia including their families for the dedication and tolerance they underwent. Also goes to all the Management and Staff of Felda (past & present), your participation and dedication on managing Felda to what it is today. I am proud I was part of Felda once upon a time.          

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