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RM15,000 – ‘last meal’ for the condemned

 | June 28, 2012

With less money on its plate, Felda will be forced to cut back on its corporate social responsibility towards settlers.

COMMENT

A total of 2.1889 billion Felda shares are on offer when the market opens today (June 28).

It’s 60% of the total amount on offer to buyers. Who are the buyers, well it’s not the settlers for sure.

A large portion is taken up by cornerstone investors such as EPF, Tabung Haji and the state governments.

Let’s ask Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, his deputy Muhyidin Yassin and the husband to Bibi (Felda chairman Isa Samad), how much does Felda gets?

Will it be 40%? If 40%, then Felda gets about RM4 billion.

And the “other” RM6 billion goes to ahem – the honourable minister who rules over Felda – Najib.

And we of course know what Najib will do with the money. He will go out to town and grease the palms of voters.

This Felda Global Venture (FGV) listing is Najib’s one more “pork barrel” politics project.

Like I said before, BR1M actually means “Beli Rakyat 1Malaysia”.

So, what will Felda do with the RM4 billion cash it collects?

I, for one, fervently hope it pays back EPF because that’s the people’s money in there.

Felda will cut back

After paying the RM3 billion it took from EPF, Felda is left with RM1 billion.

How long do you think the RM1 billion will last when Felda needs RM3 billion a year to run its operations?

With less money, Felda will cut back on its corporate social responsibility.

Allow me to illustrate.

In 2011, Felda spent RM424 million for the settlers. In 2012, that amount will be reduced by almost RM100 million to RM326 million.

Hence, what our Felda settlers will see in the future are:

  • Reduction in infrastructure spending by 57%. They can forget about repairing roads, buildings suraus, community halls, improving water distribution.
  • Development expenditure on second and third generation Felda dwellers reduced by 27%.
  • Productivity incentives reduced by 22%.
  • Hari Raya bonuses reduced by 25%.
  • Insurance plans for settlers reduced by 25%.

And this is only a precursor of things to come. Settlers beware.

I hope conscientious children of settlers will tell their parents that the RM15,000 is the proverbial last meal for the condemned.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.


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