KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Bernama) -- The initial public listing (IPO) of Felda
Global Ventures Holding (FGVH) on 28 June is another cornerstone in the agency''s
continuous transformation process.
The world''s second-largest IPO this year, after Facebook (FB.O) in the
United States, is a clear statement that Felda is moving ahead with the times by
switching to a new business model.
Felda''s proven business model of opening new land schemes to expand its
holdings over the last 50 years is no longer feasible due to the scarcity of
Thus, it is only natural for Felda to find ways to add value to its holdings
based upon the existing land bank and ensure the settlers and their subsequent
generations enjoy the appreciation of the value of their holdings.
The listing is set to enhance the competitiveness of the second generation
of settlers, whereby they no longer solely depend on the earnings from their
land, but through middle and downstream activities as well.
Felda''s Deputy General Manager for Community Development, Faizoull Ahmad,
noted that FGVH''s listing denoted Felda''s transformation in line with the
nation''s march towards becoming a high income nation.
"We have a clear vision for the coming 10 or 20 years. With Felda''s listing,
both local investors like Tabung Haji, PNB, KWSP and foreign investors will be
able to invest and the profits will not only be shared by Felda settlers, but by
all Malaysians as well.
"We see two components in the transformation, namely the social and economic
development ongoing since 2010 to ensure Felda develops in a balanced manner,"
he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama in his office recently.
TRANSFORMATION ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR LONG TIME
Apart from listing FGVH, numerous transformation programmes have been rolled
out to empower the 112,635 settlers and their subsequent generations.
One of the transformation programmes is developing Felda schemes as growth
areas starting with Felda Tenggaroh in east Johor, chosen as the pioneer under
the rural development master plan. This master plan includes integrated
development encompassing agricultural activities, tourism and entrepreneurship,
in the nine land schemes within Felda Tenggaroh.
Faizoull noted that Felda Tenggaroh was chosen due to its remote location,
far away from major towns or development centres, that posed its own challenges
in developing this location.
Apart from that, Felda Tenggaroh, with its 5,000 settlers and 11,000
hectares of land, has additional commercial potential, especially in tourism,
since it is the gateway to pristine Pulau Sibu.
"The pioneering project started six months ago. The same development method
will be applied to Felda schemes nationwide, where each area will be developed
based on their potential.
"In a nutshell, Felda wants to see these land schemes emerge as rural growth
centers, complete with numerous amenities, like in towns," he said.
A SHIFT IN THE MINDSET
In meeting the objectives, Felda also wants to mould an intelligent new
generation by equipping them with know-how and technology and inculcating a
paradigm shift in them.
According to him, changes in the settlers'' mindset were already evident with
many increasingly savvy in financial dealings and ready to invest in commercial
"As for example, Felda buys oil palm worth RM300-320 million each month.
Just imagine, we have 317 Felda schemes, and each contribute RM1 million per
month" he asked.
"By stimulating micro-economic activities, the rural areas, in fact, can
emerge even better than towns and this is the transformation that we are working
on," he said.
Numerous efforts have been taken to expose Felda dwellers to the outside
world, among others, implementing broadband facilities in Felda areas to enable
settlers to connect with their local and foreign colleagues to market their
He also pointed out that Felda could not continue with a system that it had
employed over the last 50 years, but to be used for the next 50 years. There has
to be a fundamental shift and this has to be understood by Felda settlers.
Therefore, he said, Felda now has a different vision to boost the output of
its plantation assets to enhance the settlers'' income.
EDUCATION THE DEVELOPMENT CORE
The transformation implemented will not succeed if the settlers fail to
understand Felda''s goals and aspirations.
Realising this fact, Faizoull noted the change in mindset should start in
the school system, and beginning in the primary school.
"It calls for a level of education to understand this transformation. We
have to teach the youngsters right from the school. We will work with the
Education Ministry and higher education institutions to introduce a topic on the
management and life in the schemes and teach the youngsters in Felda to stay
united," he said.
Today there are 370 schools in Felda schemes nationwide, made up of 270
primary schools and 100 secondary schools.
Felda also provides allocations for tuition schemes at these schools and
brings in native English speakers to teach English to the settlers’ children.
These efforts are set to create a forward thinking ''eco-intelligence''
generation in Felda settlements, and those who attain good SPM results will be
sent overseas to further their studies in fields needed by Felda and the nation.
"Felda has established its footprint in 12 nations, therefore they could be
sent to these countries to do their internship.
So far, Felda has sent 37 children to the United Kingdom (UK), 19 to
Australia, three to India and three more to the Czech Republic, with the first
group sent to the UK and Australia in 2005, and they have successfully completed
their degrees and are serving in Felda.
Faizoull noted that Felda''s history and success should be shared by all
Malaysians by making Felda into a case study at local institutions of higher
"Felda now works with 20 higher learning institutions to study Felda''s
efforts, planning and management that brought success to Felda.
"This is what we have to share with the rest of the Malaysians, especially
the new generation, so that they understand better and appreciate Felda''s
endeavour in continuously improving the life of the settlers and contributing to
the nation," he said.
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