Speak up on Felda issues in Parliament, watchdog tells MPs

Majlis Permuafakatan NGO Felda (MPNF) chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman said issues related to weakness, mismanagement and abuse of power concerning Felda were discussed and reported in the presentation of the Felda White Paper in parliament in April last year. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Majlis Permuafakatan NGO Felda (MPNF) chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman said issues related to weakness, mismanagement and abuse of power concerning Felda were discussed and reported in the presentation of the Felda White Paper in parliament in April last year. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

JOHOR BARU, Nov 5 — A Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) watchdog has called on all 54 MPs who represent their respective constituencies in the estates nationwide to bring up matters related to the scheme in Parliament.

Majlis Permuafakatan NGO Felda (MPNF) chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman said issues related to weakness, mismanagement and abuse of power concerning Felda were discussed and reported in the presentation of the Felda White Paper in parliament in April last year.

“Therefore, I hope the issues related to Felda will be brought up by all the 54 MPs who have Felda settlements in their constituencies at the ongoing Dewan Rakyat sitting,” said Mazlan.

Mazlan added that immediate discussions between Felda and FGV Holding Berhad (FGV) should be initiated as well to end speculation on the efforts of third parties who aspire to take over the 350,733 hectares of leased land.

“The Felda recovery plan from the White Paper and its continuation by the Special Task Force led by Tan Sri Wahid Omar has already been presented to the cabinet on October 14.

“I hope the role of MPs, especially in Felda‘s 54 parliamentary seats in the Dewan Rakyat, can present their issues as part of the 2021 Budget tomorrow,” Mazlan said in a statement issued here today.

Mazlan, a Johor Parti Amanah Negara committee member, said that the government's announcement to accept the proposed issuance of sukuk worth RM9.9 billion by Felda, with guarantees is welcomed.

He pointed out that the involvement of experts in the Special Task Force can have a positive impact on the agricultural sector.

“The involvement of experts in their respective disciplines, former senior Felda officials, Felda NGOs with the top management of Felda is a comprehensive combination that is expected to see changes in 2023,” said Mazlan, who is also the Farmers’ Organisation Authority chairman.

Mazlan stressed that the Felda settlers, especially the younger generation, had enough of suffering due to the greed of those in power.

“The new Malaysia dreams of having consolidation across party politics. We should rebuild Felda as conceived by the late former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak,” he said.

In October, Felda chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said Felda wishes to take back 350,000 hectares of land leased to FGV in an effort to strengthen its financial position.

He said the matter has already been agreed upon by its board of directors and the company is currently awaiting the government’s directive before negotiations can begin with FGV.

To date, FGV’s responsibility towards Felda (according to the land lease agreement) amounting to RM248 million a year has been fully met.

FGV has paid more than RM2.5 billion to Felda from 2012 to 2019.

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