By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
PETALING JAYA, June 12 — Felda settlers stand to lose RM100 million in welfare support as a result of Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ (FGVH) listing exercise, PKR said today.
Wong Chen, PKR’s chairman of investment and trade bureau, said projected figures from Felda’s 2012 budget showed a “massive” reduction in allocation in welfare support for settlers compared to last year.
“This budget was prepared last year with the initial public offering (IPO) in place.
“In 2011, Felda spent RM424 million on settlers. However for 2012 Felda intends to spend only RM326 million on settlers, a massive reduction of close to RM100 million,” he told reporters.
The reason for the reduction in allocation was clear, said Wong, adding that FGVH’s listing exercise would cause Felda’s earning to drop.
“By leasing 350,000ha of land to FGVH, Felda switched roles, from being a rich plantation operator to a mere landlord... the results are devastating to Felda,” the PKR leader said.
Wong said the official budget for the federal land authority showed it will only make a projected RM900 million this year, a 64 per cent reduction compared to its RM2.5 billion in earnings for last year.
Part of Felda’s annual budget cuts include its Hari Raya incentive, where settlers will only receive RM 30 million this year compared to RM40 million in 2011.
Productivity incentives for settlers have also been slashed from RM103 million last year to a projected RM80 million this year, while Felda’s insurance plan for settlers will see a reduction from RM20 million last year to RM15 million this year.
Infrastructure development, said Wong, will see a 57 per cent decrease from the RM115 million allotted for last year to RM50 million this year.
“This is documented evidence that settlers are again unfairly treated,” he said.