PEKAN: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he will always champion the Felda settlers as his father had done in the past.
As part of the Prime Minister’s efforts to improve the lives of the community, Najib said the Government forged good ties with the governments of China and India to market the country’s palm oil products.
“If China buys RM1.3bil worth of palm oil, India RM1bil, the price of palm oil will continue to rise, and who are happy?
“Certainly the Felda community for having more income.
“But if we listen to the Opposition, they are saying that they want to cancel all contracts with China.
“If that happens, that country will never buy palm oil from Malaysia again.
“If that happens, then the price of palm oil will drop and affect the settlers. But, under my leadership, the Government will continue this struggle and, as such, we must continue to support the Barisan Nasional government,” he said at the launch of the “Jimat Belanja Dapur” programme in Bandar Dara Chini yesterday.
Najib said he was aware of how his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, kept the welfare of Felda settlers and rural folk close to his heart.
“There is a model of a Felda settler’s home in the gardens of Seri Taman. Before he passed away, Tun Abdul Razak ordered that the model house must always remain there as a reminder to everyone, including myself, that Felda and rural development were the basis of his struggles.
“Hence, as members of the next generation, it is compulsory for us to continue that struggle.
“The times are different now, but our values and spirit remain the same. We have to make sure Tun Abdul Razak’s fight lives on.”
Seri Taman was Tun Abdul Razak’s official home in Kuala Lumpur when he was Malaysia’s second prime minister.
Najib, who is Pekan MP, said the situation in Malaysia now was far different from that of an “aged” leader who had administered the country then.
This leader, he added, did not have the interests of the rural folk at heart.
“I have worked under him. I know his ways and I can read him. He has no desire to help the rural people.
“I am doing much more compared to him for the Felda settlers, padi farmers and fishermen,” Najib said, citing the numerous incentives and aid that had been dispensed to the agricultural group.
Based on records, he said the Government had provided more incentives to the settlers and the Muda Agricultural Development Authority had also been allocated RM2.7bil for 2011 to 2020 to develop irrigation systems.
In fact, never in the history of farmers had they received monthly payments of RM200 for three months while waiting for padi harvesting and even the fishermen also received incentives, Najib added.
The Prime Minister said the Barisan Nasional government had big programmes in the pipeline for the country, unlike the Opposition which only knew how to criticise.
“No matter how much the Opposition hits out at me, I will remain steadfast. We shall not stoop to their level.
“My oath is the legacy of Tun Abdul Razak. His struggles will guide my path,” he added.
At the event, Najib also launched the Local Service Centre @ Pasar Tani, the Pasar Tani mobile app for QR Pay programmes.
Under the Jimat Belanja Dapur programme, agricultural produce would be sold at lower prices at pasar tani (farmers’ markets).
Najib said this was similar to the “Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” programme where consumers could save between 5% to 20% on foodstuff.