KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) must be developed into an economic and political powerhouse to protect the interests of those living in rural areas.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government had put in place a special mission and vision for Felda and such efforts should be safeguarded.
“That is why we have created several initiatives like the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and its downstream programme to transform Felda into an economic powerhouse.
“On the other hand, we also want it to be a political powerhouse. Without political power, Felda will cease to exist,” he said in his opening remarks in front of some 1,000 settlers at Menara Felda yesterday.
Najib was saying this at the launch of Kami Anak Felda (KAF) Malaysia Association, Kesejahteraan Adiwangsa Felda book, Wada-Cambodia Humanitarian Fund and Reaching out to Your Heart Programme.
Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Government approved RM1.41bil in loans to 41,429 Felda families to repair their homes.
The Prime Minister also urged settlers to give their full-support to the current administration and not depend on others, including those who signed the Citizens’ Declaration.
“Do you think they care for your interest? Do you think they would ever set up Felda?
“We are the ones who set up Felda, comprising of Umno members and leaders,” he said.
On a separate matter, Najib hit out at certain quarters who tried to insinuate that the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had refused to shake hands with him.
A video with the caption Sultan Johor langsung tak salam Najib semasa ketibaan Tuanku ke upacara Majlis Perasmian Forest City 2016 ... kenapa? (Sultan of Johor refuses to shake hands with Najib when he arrives at the Forest City launching ceremony ... why?) went viral on the social media recently.
“I could only shake my head when I saw it on social media,” said Najib.
“I drank tea with him and rode in the car which was driven by him and we chatted.
“However, there are still people who wanted to create such false and unverified stories.”