KUALA LUMPUR: Felda must be in the forefront of the country’s path towards becoming a high income, developed nation, said the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in opening the Felda Generation Convention here yesterday, said the success story of Felda and its contributions to the country could not be denied.
“It has been 57 years since the inception of Felda and today, it is among the biggest conglomerates in the world. The journey is not over.
“We are not a country with average dreams. We want to achieve a developed nation status and I want to see Felda at the forefront of our success,” he said in his speech.
Najib said that when Felda was first set up, the poverty rate in the country was at more than 70%.
“Today, almost all Felda families have moved into the medium income group,” he said to the gathering of over 1,000 Felda settlers.
Najib said the transformation of Felda could also be seen in how it used to depend on the Government and other sources for funding but now it had among the biggest funds of its own.
Despite its successes, he said, there were groups constantly trying to criticise and stand in the way of its progress.
“When we wanted to get Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) listed, many claimed that Felda was bankrupt but when it turned out to be a success, they have been very silent,” he said.
Earlier, Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad, in his speech, said the grassroots in Felda must understand the need for the transformation process it is currently undergoing.
“This convention will be helpful in disseminating crucial information to ensure that Felda settlers know and understand why such measures have to be taken,” he said.