Prime Minister Najib Razak assured that the government would continue to champion the welfare and development of the Felda community in the country.
He said among the steps taken were studying how Felda’s development and listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) could be strengthened in terms of management so that the FGV could help in regards to the wellbeing and success of Felda, especially the settlers.
“This is what the government wants and one of the meaningful programmes that will be implemented later is Settlers Day which will be held in Putrajaya with an expected turnout of more than 20,000 settlers from throughout the country.
“This is to give a clear signal that the ties that bind Felda and Putrajaya cannot be broken. Felda settlers are always in the hearts of Putrajaya and likewise Putrajaya in the hearts of settlers,” he said.
He said this at a breaking-of-fast event with Felda Chini settlers at Masjid Felda Chini 1 yesterday. At the event Najib also launched Phase 8 of the Pahang-level Kampung Street Lighting Project.
Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said Felda’s development and the settlers’ fate had undergone several changes when compared to its early establishment in the 1960s.
“In the early stages during the 60s when my father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was the founder, the purpose of the establishing Felda was to eradicate poverty and look into the well-being of rural communities, especially those who do not own land or have no fixed income.
“Who could imagine that it would bring about major changes to the rural areas with the development of Felda land settlement schemes such as Felda Chini, which is a vast difference from its original state.
“Those who moved here have enjoyed a far better life in comparison to those who did not participate in the Felda scheme as settlers,” he said.
He said this was evident when the basic needs of the people of Felda have changed considerably as they now yearn for a higher level of needs rather than the the basic need for roads and street lighting.
Meanwhile, Najib said the Phase Eight of the Village Street LIghting Project (LJK8) in Pahang involved the installation of 7,770 street lights at a cost of RM6.62 million.
The project being implemented under Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is among the government’s initiative in helping the rural population.
According to Najib, under LJK8, the government had allocated RM100 million to provide 122,133 street lamps nationwide and of the total, 6,333 units were LED or Light Emitting Diode lightings while the rest High Pressure Sodium Vapor (HPSV) lamps.
Earlier this month, the prime minister launched similar projects in Negeri Sembilan and Perak entailing the installation of 4,337 and 12,680 street lamps respectively.
Through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, the government had since 2003 implemented the Rural Electricity Supply Programme to provide street lighting in villages.
In phase one to seven of the LJK project, 300,000 village street lights were installed nationwide at a cost of RM150 million, and 25,612 of the units were installed in Pahang. –Bernama