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PH launches manifesto to improve lives of Felda settlers

 | March 19, 2017

Manifesto includes reviewing all investments made by Felda's current and past administration, says Rafizi Ramli.

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SHAH ALAM: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has launched a manifesto with five resolutions aimed at protecting the rights of Felda settlers.

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli announced the resolutions today, and said top of the list would be efforts to strengthen Felda’s administration.

“We will form a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate all the losses Felda made under Isa Samad’s leadership,” he said during PH’s Felda Convention at Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Abdul Aziz here.

Isa was the head of Felda until he was replaced recently by Shahrir Samad, the former chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club.

Rafizi who is Pandan MP, also promised to review all Felda investments and said those found to benefit only certain quarters would be cancelled, including investments in Indonesia’s PT Eagle High Plantations.

“We will also study the benefits and risks of returning the majority control of Felda Holdings Berhad from Felda Global Ventures to Felda Capital Cooperative,” he said.

The second resolution of the manifesto focuses on alleviating the burden of Felda settlers from issues such as debts and the rising cost of living.

With this resolution, the PH government will increase the monthly living allowance of settlers from the present RM1,000-RM1,500 to RM2,000.

According to Rafizi, the allowance would act as a loan from Felda meant to help the settlers get by as they awaited the harvest of their oil palm, a period usually lasting seven years.

“Once the oil palm can be harvested, this allowance can be paid back with a minimum deduction of RM800 monthly until paid off, without interest.”

The third resolution of the manifesto will involve the creation of a mechanism to manage the land of settlers who die without naming an heir.

It will involve the issuing of a shared contract in which the land will be managed by Felda, and the profits shared with the heirs of the deceased settler.

“10% of Felda’s income will be paid to the heir as royalty payouts. The balance will be used to support operational costs,” he said.

PH has also promised to set up Felda towns nationwide as well as Felda universities to help improve the educational levels of the younger generation.

He said a study conducted found that over 95% of Felda’s second generation did not secure a place in higher learning institutions despite 80% stating their interest to pursue higher education.

“The universities will focus on fields related to the palm oil industry such as mechanical engineering, agriculture, biotechnology, and business.”


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