TOKYO: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that all Felda settlers will be getting “duit raya” of RM300.
“Yes, we are giving them (the ‘duit raya’). This is at government expense.
“It is going to cost us RM34 million but we realise the problems faced by Felda settlers,” he told the Malaysian media here today before wrapping up his visit to Japan.
Yesterday, a leaked circular stated that the Cabinet had agreed to give the special Aidilfitri aid to 112,635 settlers.
According to the circular released by the economic affairs ministry, all Felda settlers will get RM300, as well as arrears due to them, before Aidilfitri.
Mahathir said the government was willing to make the sacrifice for them but in the end, Felda settlers have to work hard and not to “take fruits from the trees that they didn’t plant”.
“During the period of replanting of about eight years, they have no income and the government gives them an allowance.
“When the trees begin to bear fruits, we expect the fruits to be sent to proper mills designated by the government. Instead, some of them sent the fruits elsewhere and took the money for themselves.
“This is wrong, they shouldn’t do that because they didn’t spend one sen on replanting. In fact, the government has to help them,” said the prime minister.
Mahathir, accompanied by his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, left for Kuala Lumpur at 3.20pm local time today after his three-day working visit to Japan.