Anwar hopes govt rethinks decision not to pay ‘duit Raya’ to Felda settlers

(FMT) – Anwar Ibrahim has urged the government to reconsider its decision not to give special cash payment to Felda settlers ahead of the Hari Raya celebration next month, saying every bit counts for the settlers.

This followed Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali’s statement last week that settlers would not be receiving “duit raya” this year.

“Maybe we can reduce their (financial) burden by giving them a little aid or allowances to settlers who are experiencing hardship during Ramadan and are going to celebrate Raya,” the PKR president and Port Dickson MP told reporters in Parliament today, where he chaired a parliamentary caucus on reform and governance.

Last week, Azmin said the government could not give out the special Hari Raya aid due to the country’s financial situation.

Instead, he said the government wanted to give priority to providing Cost of Living and Advance on Produce incentives for settlers before Hari Raya.

The Felda NGOs National Council had urged Putrajaya to help settlers with cash ahead of the Hari Raya celebration, citing unstable uncome due to fluctuating palm oil prices.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the matter should be referred to Azmin.

Anwar said he understood the reasons behind the decision not to hand out cash assistance to settlers.

“But when we go to the ground to meet settlers, this was among the issues raised and the concerns are very real. They are enduring hardship during Ramadan,” he said.

“I feel if we give even a little bit is ok.”