New Felda schemes targeted for settlers

PETALING JAYA: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), under its new business model, will introduce many schemes that will aid settlers by addressing their income, housing needs and human capital development.

Efforts to bring more development and progress are also part of the new business model that aims to deal with many of the grouses settlers have had in the past.

In the White Paper on Felda, the government said the agency would introduce a more flexible new aid scheme to settlers to replace the Sara Hidup (SH) and Pinjaman Pendahuluan Hasil (PDH) financing.

Through this new scheme, settlers will receive a loan based on the requirements of the settlers to avoid high indebtedness over a long period of time. The rate of debt repayment for replanting will be determined based on the settlers’ income. At the same time, settlers who have received SH and PDH at a previous rate will be given the option to join this new scheme.

The government will provide various socio-economic programmes and initiatives at Felda areas, including improving the quality of life of the settlers through an increase in the social and physical infrastructure in collaboration with all ministries and government agencies.

Basic facilities and infrastructure such as roads, power supply and broadband that have been provided by Felda will now be addressed by the government. This will open up opportunities for settlers to generate income and improve the economy through various downstream and entrepreneurial industries.

Felda will also step up efforts to reform its land under the scheme to grow more rapidly through the formation of a new city to develop and stimulate economic activities in collaboration with the private sector to create a smart community.

The report said this would create a holistic and comfortable ecosystem for every settler so they have an alternative source of income.

Traditional villages around the Felda schemes will also receive a boost to its local economy.

According to the report, Felda will continue to ensure the emphasis on education for the new generation of settlers, including women and youth, so as to be not left out in the tide of progress. They will be equipped with strong knowledge and diverse skills at every level of education to improve job opportunities and promote economic growth.

This effort will be carried out with professionals consisting of successful settlers’ children acting as mentors and re-contributing to the strengthening of the Felda community.

New schemes to help the settlers’ children’s education via co-operation with government-linked companies and private companies will be introduced with the focus on technical and vocational education.

Felda’s new generation of human capital will continue to be strengthened towards the delivery of a knowledgeable, responsible and capable generation. The new Felda will also produce future leaders who will bring Felda towards excellence.

The Economic Affairs Ministry, in collaboration with Felda and related government agencies, will develop a socio-economic development plan for the settlers community completing the initiative implemented by Felda.

This development plan will also take stock of rural resources and potential, as well as a rapid development process in related areas. The implementation of this plan is expected to address the social problems among Felda youths, besides providing basic infrastructure and facilities on Felda land.

Felda will complete the abandoned PGBF housing project where progress is at 70.0% and above.

This will benefit 4,794 new generation of families to own homes.

At the same time, housing construction businesses in the Felda area will be implemented by related government entities such as Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd and others. In addition, Felda will allow a new generation of settlers to build their own homes on the same site as the original settlers.

The report also said Felda was in the process of updating data on land ownership and that the settlers would finalise the inheritance information. The inheritance plan needs to be done quickly, as 88.0% of settlers are over 56 years of age.

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