PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to announce, among others, measures to help reduce the financial burden of settlers at a three-day carnival starting this Sunday (July 21), said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Razali Ibrahim.
Datuk Razali told Bernama News Channel in an interview that in appreciation of the contributions made by Felda settlers to the country's development, the Malaysian government would continue with efforts to help ease their financial burden.
"It is done all the time for the good of the settlers," he said in the interview conducted in conjunction with the upcoming Settlers' Day celebrations. The Settlers' Day falls on July 7. A three-day carnival will be held from July 21 to 23 at Putrajaya to mark the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) Settlers' Day.
He said hoped all quarters, especially the opposition, would not take a negative view of the initiatives.
Datuk Razali said Felda had disbursed RM3.8 million since 2003 until this year in terms of incentive and bonus payments to settlers.
This year's Settlers' Day celebration will be the biggest ever, he said, adding that various activities would also be held, including sales carnival, exhibition and performance by artistes from Felda land schemes, according to Bernama.
Felda, which is virtually synonymous with government aid to rural Malaysia, traces its roots to a 1956 grant from the World Bank. It has given land and subsidies to more than 100,000 Malay families since then. Felda settlers make up a crucial vote bank for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition during elections.