BENTONG, Feb 4 — After 60 years in existence as the most successful land scheme in the world, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) continues to pave the way for an even brighter future for Felda settlers with the launching of the Felda 2.0 initiative today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it is a concept to further develop and upgrade the existing land schemes so that they are even more competitive in line with the smart community element and being sustainable.
“With Felda 1.0 a big success, Felda 2.0 will drive Felda to the next pinnacle of success.
“To the original settlers and the new generation, let us all join forces because Felda is our shield, our legacy, our dignity and our common responsibility,” he said when launching Felda 2.0 in Felda Lurah Bilut here.
Also present were Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Bentong MP and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.
Najib said in the almost 62 years since Felda was set up, the authority had chalked up many successes which were shared with the settlers in various forms of incentives.
He said last year alone, Felda settlers enjoyed cash and non-cash incentives to the tune of RM691.09 million.
“For example, the Special Cash Incentive of RM5,000 was paid out to 88,732 settlers which totals RM443.6 million.
“Apart from that, cash incentive for liquidating part of shares in FGV was also paid to 2,715 settlers or next-of-kin who were eligible with the amount coming to RM4.94 million and also overall payment of RM73.75 million to 94,555 settlers as FGV dividend, which are held by Felda, as well the “duit raya” (Aidilfitri incentive),” he said.
The Prime Minister added that during the national-level Felda Settlers Day 2017 celebration, he had also announced reopening opportunities to settlers who were no longer with Felda so that they too could enjoy the benefits.
As a result, he said, 10,338 settlers came back to the fold, making the number of Felda settlers reach 105,294 or 93.5 per cent of the overall figure.
“We took the move because we truly love all settlers and want to champion their welfare so that they also get the benefits that we announce.
“This proves that settlers still have faith in Felda which is a slap in the face of naysayers who go around claiming that Felda settlers are no longer with the government,” he said.
As such, he said the settlers must ensure that Felda was not only their source of livelihood but make it a bastion of political strength for the existing government which has tirelessly supported them.
“When the (general) election comes, all Felda friends need to show their strength of solidarity, realise the dream of Tun (Abdul) Razak (Hussein) as our common dream,” he said.
Felda is the brainchild of Malaysia’s second prime minister the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was also Najib’s father.
In his speech, the prime minister also announced an allocation of RM50 million to Felda to develop the Felda 2.0 initiative at five land schemes this year.
He also said that the Barisan Nasional government led by Umno was prepared to approve the Feed-in-Tariff solar energy quota totalling 80 Megawatts to 16 Felda schemes in 2018 and 2019.
In appreciation of the services and contributions of Felda settlers, Najib said, 11 long-service settler leaders from 11 Felda schemes who had not performed the Haj pilgrimage would be offered a chance to participate in the Prime Minister’s Special Haj Programme under the 1MDB Foundation. — Bernama