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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 18 February 2017

Dont Let racial and religious bigots blackmail us and divert our attention from their crimes and failures.

Yesterday morning, a few colleagues and I were with YB Rafizi Ramli at a press conference. It was held at his office at Invoke Space. It was to announce an upcoming event about a Congress on Felda. It is planned to take place in March 2017. I hope members of the general public and public spirited individuals will come.

As we are aware, Felda has come into much of the news lately. Unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Papers will be presented at that Congress.Then, people will know what is going on in Felda.

For a few months already, the opposition parties have been going around to felda settlements to make the felda people aware of the social, political and economic issues around the country. We want the felda people to realise that their problems were the result of an even bigger calamity faced by our country. We are living under the kleptocratic government of a man known as Najib Tun Razak. His government is a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves. They are stealing money at every corner and making the country suffer.

Worse, they are hiding behind the protection of the law. 7 countries have found many things wrong with 1MDB. Yet our country’s AG said, there is no crime or illegal conduct with 1MDB. Is our legal system protecting bad people?

Other than public rallies, we will distribute handbills and leaflets. Felda people can read about the issues in their spare time. Maybe they can discuss among themselves at the warungs and pekan sehari. The issues are not only about felda but national issues.

Felda settlers need to free themselves from reading Utusan Malaysia and other media controlled by UMNO. According to a research done, the Media leads the category of people, the public distrusts most. I would urge felda people not to take seriously the propaganda material carried by UMNO controlled media. They are self-serving. They support thievery and cover these misdeeds.

Perhaps the 1.5% of the Felda children who made it to universities and who went on to be doctors, lawyers and other graduates, read this English article and can start narrating to their felda cousins. Tell them, you have been duped and made use of by the Najib government. It may come to a surprise to many of us, but the reality is, only 1.5 of the felda children made it to colleges and universities. We have been led into believing that many felda children have succeeded.

The Felda settlers most of whom are Malays may not realise this. The cost of living is going up . In part, and the people believed this- the higher cost of living is caused by the imposition of GST. The government is squeezing blood from stone.

Banks are closing many of their branches. Businesses are closing down. Big retailers like Giant, Tesco and Aeon are also feeling the pain and they are closing businesses and laying off workers. Many of these workers are Malay. Maybe they are also felda children. In short, the economy is not doing well. We are talking about the real economy.

But the government is going around the country, telling lies that the economy is good.

The government is doing a lot of red herring strategies. UMNO is helping PAS to hold a mammoth rally in Kuala Lumpur in support of a bill submitted by Haji Hadi. But the proposed bill has not even been debated.

In the past, the government of Najib was the opponent to any attempts to islamise the country. So when people demonstrate in Padang Merbok – against whom are they vehemently protesting?I am puzzled as many of you are too. The DAP is not the government.

The UMNO wolf is running with the PAS rabbits and hunting them at the same time.

The gathering is nothing more than a union of Malay supremacy and Islamic supremacy. It is a union of Malay and Islamic fascism. It has nothing to do with the elevation of Islamic ideals.

Clearly it is an attempt by the Islamic groups and Malay thieves to hide their criminal conduct and failures. UMNO will say the Malays who oppose them are not Malay enough. PAS will say those who oppose them are not Muslim enough. One party is doing ethnic blackmail, the other does spiritual blackmail. Race and religious bigots do that.

Closer to home Felda has not been forthcoming to settlers. For years they have not been transparent to settlers. Settlers demand to know how much their land earned and how much was deducted. Felda has not provided clear statement of accounts. The settler seems to be weighed down by ever increasing debts.

Felda has no money to pay for the Fresh Fruit Bunches settlers send to mills. Felda postpones payment to the following month. It always owes the settlers a backdated payment of half a month. That could be RM1500-Rm2000 per month.

After 3 years , replanted trees produced fruits and they produced income. How much of this income go to reducing the advances and loans taken by a settler? Generally speaking, a settler on average owes felda, RM120,000. How will the settler pay? Can they ever settle their debts?

In June 2012, Felda listed its subsidiary, FGV. The retail price was RM4.55. At that price, the earnings on the 2.1889billion shares sold, were almost RM10 billion. Where did the money go? Shahrir Samad, the new Felda chairman tells us, the money went to so and so. But he also revealed that he did not know where some RM4 billion of the money raised went to?

Was Shahrir Samad appointed to do the janitorial work of cleaning up the mess Najib committed with Felda? Now that the business has been shelved off to FGV, along with that, also went the operating costs of running the business. FGV a listed company now spends money on running the business. Felda saves money.

In return, Felda( the main body) which is owned by the government, receives passive income as an investor. FGV pays rent of around RM500 million plus 15% of the operating profits from plantations business. Probably they get around RM 700-800 million a year depending on the profits made by FGV. FGV has been making losses and this can mean the earnings or returns to Felda are decreasing. Felda still needs around RM1 to RM1.2 billion to manage the social obligations on the 317 felda settlement. They need to pay administrative costs, make loans to settlers, and increase the quality of life of settlers. If they take in RM700-800 million a year and needs to spend Rm1.2 billion a year, they are still short of RM400 million at least. Where will they get money?

They can get injections from the government. But that would be unfair. Why should tax payers money be spent of felda settlements when Felda fails to get enough money because of their incompetence and stupidity? We cannot go on subsidising incompetence and stupidity.

One of the main purposes of the upcoming Felda Congress is to increase public awareness of the massive corruption and embezzlement that is taking place in Felda. Because of the sheer size of Felda and its numerous business deals, the structure of the business allows unscrupulous people to bleed money from its business operations.


Pok Li 19 February 2017 at 02:49  

The Congress should;

1) come up with a summary simple enough for the settlers to understand that their well-being is in serious danger.

2) train speakers to explain in a language that the settlers could be convinced.

3) pre-empt BN's possible strategies which would normally be revealed at the last minutes before the elections. Rumours are that the govt would pay RM25k to each settler as a gesture to ease their predicament. Settlers need to be explained how the handout would not help them in the long run.

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