Felda not village champion, says PM

(Bernama) – LABIS, Jan 18 – Felda’s success in expanding its operations abroad to countries like the US and Canada is proof that the agency is active on the international stage and is not just a village champion.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said many countries like Sierra Leone in Africa had shown keen interest in following the Felda land development system.

“Felda has proven that it’s not merely a ‘jaguh kampung’ (village champion) by investing overseas like opening up plants in the US and Canada. The Quebec Prime Minister (Jean Charest) has a high regard for Felda over its success in setting up a plant in Quebec.”

He said this when speaking before 2,000 Tenang Felda settlers at a gathering which was also attended by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad.

Najib, who also visited the Cempelak and Cempelak Barat Felda schemes here today, said the Sierra Leone government had admitted that it would be good if Felda’s land development system could be implemented in the West African country.

However, he said, Sierra Leone failed to follow the Felda system due to the country’s leadership factor.

The prime minister also said that Felda had changed the lives of its land scheme settlers for the better by enabling them to earn a higher income compared to what they received when Felda was established decades ago.

“The difference between now and then is like the ground and the sky,” he said, adding that he was told by the Cempelak Felda Village head that the Felda settlers there could earn as much as RM3,000 monthly.

Earlier, Mohd Isa in his speech said that the opposition’s baseless allegations against Felda of late were an attempt to erode the settlers’ confidence in the government.

“This is because they know that Felda land schemes are the Barisan Nasional’s strongholds,” he said and urged the people not to be fooled by the opposition’s opportunistic tactics.

During his visit, the prime minister also officially opened a community hall

(Dewan Semai Bakti Felda Tenang) and a futsal open court. – Bernama