ALOR SETAR: Receiving the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) is nothing to shout about, says Mokhzani Mahathir, the second son of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said although the government revelled in the fact that it was helping the people by disbursing the aid, the people forget that they are receiving money because they cannot afford to fend for themselves.
“We can be proud and be like champions when we are rich. We can feel great with our own hard-earned money.
“That is what’s important. It is not about people giving us money so we can survive. That is not greatness.
“We can feel proud when we are able to ensure our livelihood is taken care of, and we can take care of our own families,” he said in a ceramah at Felda Sungai Tiang in Pendang, near here, where he made a surprise appearance last night.
Also present were Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for Pendang, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Sungai Tiang state seat candidate Abdul Razak Khamis, and Felda activist Mazlan Aliman.
Prime Minister Najib Razak had previously said that the country’s improved economic situation allowed the government to increase the payout from RM400 to RM800 for those receiving the aid in June and August.
In his brief speech last night, Mokhzani said the government had failed to protect the future of Felda settlers.
“After all of this, is Barisan Nasional (BN) going to accuse PH of ill-treating Felda settlers? What has BN been doing?
“Come May 9, choose PH. You see what BN has done to Felda and our country. Enough is enough. We need a new formula, new leaders with a good track record to bring change,” he said.
Mokhzani said he had decided to drop by the ceramah to meet Wan Saiful. He said he usually met the academic overseas, where Wan Saiful frequently spoke to Malaysians to enlighten them on what was happening in the country.
He said there had been a good response to Wan Saiful’s debates, which had opened up the eyes of those overseas.
“He is someone who is efficient, trustworthy and professional. He thinks of good programmes which can benefit the people. That is important.
“We do not want people with outdated ideas. There are too many of those. We need to find smart people like my friend here.
“When PH takes over the government and cares for entities such as Felda, we need to have the right people in place, who know how to run a company well.”
The businessman also spoke on the three million jobs the government claimed to have generated.
“Who are the three million jobs for? For Malaysians? I don’t think so.
“You see the mega projects in Kuantan and Johor Bahru invested in by the Chinese – there are no Malaysians involved. Everything is in Mandarin, and the workers are all Chinese,” he said.
Felda and FGV have been mired in mismanagement issues and alleged improprieties, which have prompted government intervention and investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
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