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No reason for us to oppose govt: <b>Felda</b> settlers

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 11:51 AM PST


(Bernama)"A parent's love is whole no matter how many times divided". This quote may best describe the sense of responsibility and love the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has for Felda (Federal Land Development Authority) settlers in this country.

For most settlers, the establishment of Felda on July 1, 1956, which aimed to provide new settlements to help the rural poor improve their economic status, clearly demonstrated the government's commitment and responsibility to provide a better life for the people (rakyat).

The result was that the lives of thousands of people under the programme were successfully transformed, they were released from the clutches of poverty which had trapped their lives for so long.

Sadly, for some settlers, what was done by the government appears not to have left any traces in their hearts, instead they choose to "bite the hand that feeds them".

Such an ungrateful act should not exist, as according to Mat Zahari Derahman, 55, settlers do not have valid reasons to oppose the government that has done a lot for people.

Mat Zahari, who is also the head of Felda Bukit Goh near here, said since he joined Felda in 1970, various assistance programmes to enhance their standard of living were implemented by the government, of which the benefits to the settlers could not be denied.

"Various initiatives such as an interest-free home expansion financing programme, second generation housing development, educational programmes for the children of the settlers, agropolitan programmes, Settlers Welfare Fund, interest-free computer loan schemes, incentive schemes for Felda entrepreneurs, replanting subsistence assistance, productivity incentive bonuses, and the latest "windfall", have benefited us all,", he said.

Based on that, the existence of those who opposed the government in FELDA such as the National Association of Felda Settlers' Children (Anak), was seen as 'the enemy within', trying to ruin what was enjoyed by settlers thus far, he said.

For Felda Bukit Kuantan youth, Norehan Saleh, 28, representing Felda's second generation, Felda is now heading to another quantum leap.

"As Felda's second generation, we do not want to be left out, instead we are prepared to jointly implement national transformation," she said.

For Jasmi Faizal Muda, 31, from Felda Kota Gelanggi, every facility provided by Felda had indirectly helped the young people, including the second generation to be successful in various fields.

"I think those who oppose to what the government is doing to increase our standard of living as the children of these settlers, are just smooth talkers," he said.

Felda, which has existed for almost 57 years, currently has more than 112,635 settlers, who originally were poor people, but now can earn up to RM3,000 a month.

In Pahang alone, there were 43,124 settlers, of whom 40,901 are involved in oil palm cultivation and the rest rubber cultivation.

According to Felda's Corporate Unit Public Relations Officer Aman Shah Alladin, by the end of 2011, a total of 34,000 settlers were given ownership of land, while the rest are awaiting land alienation. 

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