Carouseling past ghosts

The ghouls of ghost of Christmas past came haunting, when the Government under Gerontocracy Prime Minister no longer want to continue subsidies for small holders but instead coming with a scheme for small holders by project management instead of amalgamation

The Star story:

‘Merge settlers’ land for higher yields’


ROMPIN: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has proposed an amalgamation of Felda settlers’ land for greater wealth and benefits.

The Prime Minister said settlers would contribute their land, which when merged must be managed by professional estate managers.

“That way, I am confident the amalgamated land can produce higher yields. The profits will then be divided accordingly among the settlers who contributed their land,” he told reporters after attending the Felda Settlers’ Day celebration at Felda Selancar 3 here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said part of the combined land could also be allocated for other crops.

“If there is diversity over a large area, not only can we fulfil the local but foreign demand as well,” he said, adding that the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry would advise on what crops would be suitable.

However, Dr Mahathir admitted that it would be difficult to change settlers’ behaviour as many of them were now senior citizens and were used to doing things the old way.

“We used to give management of the land to the settlers but they can’t adjust their way of life. Today, farming vegetables and fruits can give better returns than palm oil or rubber but they are still sticking to the old crops.

“Perhaps, of a 2,000-acre piece of land, 200 acres can be used for other crops while the rest is planted with oil palm,” he said.

In his speech, Dr Mahathir said settlers would face problems when the price of palm oil dropped due to their over-reliance on a single crop.

He said settlers would then ask for subsidies unlike the large estates which were managed professionally.

“Even when you have 10 acres of land and have good crops, it will not give as good as the returns of 10,000 acres of land.

“That is why settlers always suffer when the price of rubber or palm oil drops,” he said.

During the event, Dr Mahathir also launched the Settlers Development Programme to help increase their income.

The programme was part of a comprehensive action plan based on smart farming and innovative downstream activities.

To implement the programme, the government had approved RM1bil in grant allocations that would be disbursed in stages over four years.

Also present were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh and Felda director-general Datuk Dr Othman Omar.

Azmin said Felda must no longer be used as a tool by politicians.

“Unfortunately, over the past years, we have politicians who played politics until the settlers became victims and were burdened with major problems.

“Today, I stand before you to tell you not to let politicians use Felda settlers any longer for their political interests,” he added.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/08/merge-settlers-land-for-higher-yields/#s2etOerWZQxjhmUQ.99

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More than half of the said million acres of FELDA settlers are already under FELDA Technoplant (FTPSB) program. Precisely, 55%.

It is a professionally run estate-like project management program for FELDA settlers.

If the program is already on going and already proven to provide positive result, what exactly is Gerontocracy Prime Minister talking about on Hari Peneroka Kebangsaan?

Repackaging a recycled product and reselling?

Isn’t that, “Playing politics”?

For the record, FTPSB has been around over a quarter of century. Means it was incepted dead centre in Gerontocracy Prime Minister previous administration.

If the ongoing FTPSB program isn’t about getting the one million acres by the 113,000 odd FELDA settlers’ smallholding professionally managed, then is the fresh minted proposed FELDA program is about re-amalgamation of the 45% remaining acreage currently not under FTPSB?

Would this exercise require more capital, for either FELDA or FTPSB, which is very scarce for the Federal Government?

Perhaps, the capital could be best utilised for other programs like propping the commodity price or getting more downstream industries set up, within the nuclei of the FELDA hinterland.

Perhaps, it is an avenue for a corporate exercise for the benefit of the selected few.

On the note of “Playing politics”, having the ‘two tigers on the same hill’ already manifested its danger.

One tiger may have growled that he would not quit but to get a fierce tiger to be ‘humiliated’ in the circus of global spectators is uncalled for.

It takes a lot to convince the 113,000 odd FELDA settlers and a simple speech at Hari Peneroka Kebangsaan wouldn’t quite do.

Then again the ‘FELDA icon’ star celebrity Chef Redzuan “Dumpster Mouth” Ismail’s faux pas is terribly demeaning towards the FELDA settlers.

NST story:

‘Felda settlers must work hard’ – Chef Wan

KUALA LUMPUR: Celebrity chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail or Chef Wan has just been named a Felda Icon by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Rompin yesterday.

Upon accepting the Felda Icon Award, Chef Wan took to Instagram to tick off “lazy” Felda settlers who refused to help themselves and waited for the Government’s help.

He said: “As the price of palm oil is not certain, Felda settlers should work hard to cultivate cash crops to supplement their income. It will help us reduce our dependency on imported food.

“Malaysia is blessed with good soil and there is a lot of idle land. The Government should privatise this land for cash crops.

“I’ve travelled to Australia, Norway and Sweden for my TV shows and saw how the people cultivate cash crops and raise livestock, making full use of the land and contributing to the economy.

“Back home, many of my fellow Felda settlers sell off fertiliser subsidies given to them by the Government, and when they receive dividends, they marry two or three times and ‘breed like cats’!

**********

Perhaps there should be a hybrid program with successful plantation GLCs, for this to quite work.

A proper crisis management task force with all stakeholders and a global task force should be formed and project managed.

Otherwise, Gerontocracy Prime Minister would have the ample time to resolve the matter.

Former Deputy Minister in-charge of FELDA Ahmad Hj Maslan is spot on about resolving FELDA settlers’ debt is one of the top ten Pakatan Harapan Manifesto.

FELDA settlers don’t quite see the way out of their conundrum but being taken around the carousel, with the ghost of Christmas past.

Majority of them are in debt for the re-plantation programs and now the commodity price is all time low, these FELDA settlers are caught with their pants down.

The attitude of Gerontocracy Prime Minister’s administration to no longer fend the FELDA settlers in challenging times, is adding salt to injury.

Perhaps in Gerontocracy Prime Minister’s tendency to crave for global attention for universal and geopolitical sensational issues, he should take up the lead for a global level task force for palm oil.

Demonstrate some meaningful effort which would be convincing enough that the current Federal Government isn’t at all an incompetent one but able to provide some practical solutions to hardline issues that the nation is facing.

Probably, that’s why they walked out in droves during the Hari Peneroka event.

*Updated 1845hours

The Minister in-charge of FELDA defended the ‘Dumpster Mouth’ instead of standing up for the four million extended FELDA family:

NST story:

Azmin defends Felda settlers over Chef Wan’s ‘lazy’, ‘breed like cats’ remarks

KUALA LUMPUR: Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today defended Felda settlers who were branded “lazy” and “breeding like cats” by celebrity chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, popularly known as Chef Wan.

Azmin said the latter’s view of the settlers was a personal one.

He said he believed that Felda settlers had a bright future and potential if they continued to support the government’s initiatives.

“Never mind, it was his (Chef Wan’s) personal view. What is important right now is as the government, we have tabled a new policy in Parliament for Felda settlers.

“Yesterday, we could see that the prime minister’s (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) speech received a positive reaction from the settlers.

“This morning, I had a discussion with the prime minister and he wants action to be taken immediately to ensure the success of the initiative,” he told reporters in Parliament.

Published in: on July 8, 2019 at 16:30  Leave a Comment  

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