Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Should the 1956 FELDA Scheme to help the poor be re-introduced?

Poverty needs to be abolished, and the poor need to be assisted so that he moves out of poverty. 

Well, UMNO-BN under Najib and before seems to have lost it...and are failing. Hand outs are never a sustainable solution to eliminating poverty...

The original FELDA program helped the poor out of poverty - poor were given land and opportunity to earn a sustainable income - but it all stopped in 1990...In fact, schemes like FELDA of old need to be re-introduced that can effectively bring people out of poverty...

BR1M - giving small monetary assistance to families and individuals who need financial assistance. How will that help people out of their poverty? Well, it does not merely encourages dependency...and, now are even calling it a BRIBE - and, maybe it really is more a 'BRIBE' than an aid. 


Help the poorer more than the lesser poor - BR1M fails to do this - everyone that qualifies gets the same amount. Families with less than RM1,000 monthly income must be helped more than families with RM2,000 monthly income...

BR1M is not a RIGHT just a 'discretionary handout' that may be ended anytime Najib or the PM of the day says so...At the same time, UMNO-BN policies and actions have seriouly increased cost of living - maybe even more than what is given out by BR1M? If not, create a law that will ensure that there will be welfare assistance - then it will become a right in law...


In the beginning, the government got it right in FELDA. Briefly, this program helped the poor. Poor persons were given land to plant rubber/oil palm and during the time these settlers were waiting for their efforts to generate monies and profits, the government assisted them financially - now, all these 'assistance' was not 'welfarism' pure and simple - but really 'loans' that had to be paid back by the settlers. When these FELDA land settlers paid their loans - then the land titles were transferred to the settlers - but these lands could not be simply sold for profits - The settlers had the obligation to continue planting and harvesting the cash crops be it rubber, oil palm or some other - and they continued to earn from their work. The model was good, as it moved many poor people away from their poverty and provided sustainability. Many, if not all, are now no more poor...SUCCESS? BR1M - well that is like giving alms to a 'beggar' - it does nothing but immediate assistance but will never improve their capacity to move out of poverty. 

The Felda scheme works in a way that in the first three years of planting (before the trees mature), each settler receives an advanced livelihood wage of RM1,300 monthly. Once the planting reaches the fourth year, the trees would have matured enough to start producing fruits, and this translates to an increase in the settler’s wages to between RM1,400 and RM1,500. It will take about 10 years or more for Felda to break-even with the palm oil returns, and at this stage, whatever monies that were paid to the settlers over the years would be offset through small monthly deductions. - Star, 22/4/201

BUT, sadly FELDA changed - they stopped helping the poor - in 1990, they stopped taking in more settlers...hence they stopped helping the still many landless poor in Malaysia

Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) was established on July 1, 1956 under the Land Development Ordinance of 1956 for the development of land and relocation with the objective of poverty eradication through the cultivation of oil palm and rubber. ...In 1990, FELDA was no longer recruiting new settlers. 

 On the whole, it had helped about 112,635 settlers and their families....

Felda eventually developed 317 schemes on some 811,000 ha (89 percent oil palm and 10 percent rubber) for 112,635 settlers, or 1.6 million people. Each scheme covered over 2,500 hectares with around 600 farmers. The average family income in 2010 was MR3,047 per month...The Inquirer.Net, 20/10/2013

Well, today FELDA is very different - but government and the Opposition are interested in the people in the FELDA communities not because they are the 'very poor' deserving our attention - but more because of their votes...there are 317 schemes and it is about 1.6 million?  

Personally, our priority should be still for the many poor in Malaysia - the FELDA community really do not deserve 'special' attention - just the same kind of attention that all communities of people all over Malaysia deserves...

Are the FELDA settlers and their families still working in their agricultural farms - or have they just become 'bosses' and 'supervisors' depending on other workers or 'cheap labour' - and these persons working in the FELDA oil palm and rubber plantations Malaysians - or are they now 'migrant workers'...? What are the wages paid to these workers - is it Minimum Wages...or less or more? Maybe now, the people of concern may no more be the FELDA settlers - but the workers in FELDA...
FELDA companies - well they are listed companies, and that means anyone can own shares - so how much of these FELDA companies do the 'settlers' own? Do the Malaysian government own shares in FELDA - how much? How much of FELDA is owned by foreign investors? I could not find enformation about this? 
Settlers were drawn from rural Malay poor.[8] They were to be aged between 21 and 50 years, married, and physically fit. Priority was given to those who did not own any land to farm.[5]

New settlers were assigned to a particular settlement, and were given 10 acres (4.0 ha), 12 acres (4.9 ha) or 14 acres (5.7 ha)[9] of land to cultivate usually either rubber or oil palms.[10] All settlers were required to reside at the settlement itself, and were allotted .25 acres (0.10 ha) in a planned village, where their home — already built by FELDA — was located. Although basic infrastructure, such as piped water and electricity, used to be lacking,[11] nowadays such facilities are readily provided. Schools, medical centres, and places of worship are also provided.[12]

Originally, FELDA schemes were designed as co-operatives, where instead of each settler owning a defined piece of land, each settler held an equal share in the ownership of the particular scheme. However, the settlers did not prefer this scheme, as workers who did not tend to the land properly still benefited (a sort of free rider problem). The government then set up a 3-phase plan, where in the first phase, the co-operative remained as a mechanism for the settlers to learn how to farm. In the second phase, each settler was given a specific plot of land to work, and in the third phase, he was given the land title to that plot.[5] However, the settler was forbidden from selling the land without permission from FELDA or the federal government.[13]

The costs of acquiring, developing and allocating the land are borne by loans made to FELDA settlers. These loans are repaid in monthly instalments deducted from the settlers' income over a 15-year period.[11]Source: Wikipedia


Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) was established on July 1, 1956 under the Land Development Ordinance of 1956 for the development of land and relocation with the objective of poverty eradication through the cultivation of oil palm and rubber. ...In 1990, FELDA was no longer recruiting new settlers.  

Government has entrusted FELDA to stand with their own financial and become a statutory body that can generate their own income to support various development through a variety of businesses. Consequently, from 1994 onwards the government does not channel any provision to the schemes. In an effort to generate income, FELDA has launched a number of private corporate entities primarily to ensure complete value chain of its core activities. Among the largest are FELDA Capital cooperative (Cooperative FELDA), Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and Felda Investment Corporation (FIC). - FELDA Website

Average Income Of Pahang Felda Settlers Is Above Poverty Level

KUANTAN, May 27 (Bernama) - The Pahang State Legislative Assembly was told today that the average annual income of Felda settlers in the state is above the poverty level.

State Felda Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abu Bakar Harun said (small time) oil palm entrepreneurs earn an average of RM2,991.90 and farmers, RM2,807.21, monthly.

He said the calculation was based on the average price of fresh fruit bunches for December 2014, which was RM430.29 per tonne, and rubber, which was RM5.24 per kilogram.....BERNAMA

FGV - initially? Now a listed company?
Incorporated in Malaysia as a private limited company 2007, FGV initially operated as the commercial arm of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA ). On 28 June 2012, the company was listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad as Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad. - See more at:

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