KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Permuafakatan NGO Felda (MPNF) chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman has appealed to the government to reconsider the decision not to give ‘duit raya’ (cash incentive) to Felda settlers in the country.
He was optimistic that the ‘good news’ would be announced by the government in a Cabinet meeting today considering the contribution of the group (Felda settlers) to national productivity.
“I hope the government will not be too particular with the settlers ... at my level, I have tried to ... personally met up with Tun Daim Zainuddin and discussed with Datuk A Kadir Jasin who are among those in the team involved in drafting the 14th General Election manifesto.
“Even on Monday night I met up with the Prime Minister’s economic adviser Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid ... a letter has also been sent to the Prime Minister’s political secretary via email and WhatsApp ... for me I have reached my maximum level and as for the results I was informed that it will be known tomorrow in a Cabinet meeting,” he said yesterday.
He explained that the ‘duit raya’ was originally from the incentives given to the settlers to encourage them to sell FFB (fresh fruit bunch) to the Felda palm oil processing factories as they were selling the fruits to outsiders.
“It is also a motivation for the settlers to increase yields by tonnes,” he said.
Mazlan, who is also the Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP) chairman was disappointed with Felda’s decision to deduct the settlers’ income ahead of the Aidilfitri celebration.
“Usually it is not deducted, even the living allowance of RM1,500 has now been reduced to RM1,000 at the moment ... with the deduction the settlers’ net income for the festive season is just between five and six hundreds, how to celebrate ‘Raya’ with that amount of money?
“Last year the settlers were able to get RM450 incentive from the government ... yesterday I also said to the Prime Minister’s economic adviser, what is RM50 million to help 112,635 settlers ... and it is not hundreds of millions ... please don’t be too particular with the people.
“The amount is secondary, whatever they will get, either five hundreds or three hundreds ... it doesn’t matter, when they receive it (duit raya) they feel that the government is concerned about the fate of the people,” he said. — Bernama