Looming battle over Felda strongholds

Felda settlers (top, from left) Zaidi Hashim and Mohd Padli Abd Rahman at Felda Bukit Tangga. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (above, wearing blue) at an event this month in Felda Ulu Belitong, where free packets of flour were given out. Worker
Workers at a Felda oil palm plantation in Sungai Tengi, north of Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian opposition is working hard to woo voters in Felda villages ahead of the next general election.PHOTO: REUTERS
Felda settlers (top, from left) Zaidi Hashim and Mohd Padli Abd Rahman at Felda Bukit Tangga. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (above, wearing blue) at an event this month in Felda Ulu Belitong, where free packets of flour were given out. Worker
Felda settlers (from left) Zaidi Hashim and Mohd Padli Abd Rahman at Felda Bukit Tangga.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD
Felda settlers (top, from left) Zaidi Hashim and Mohd Padli Abd Rahman at Felda Bukit Tangga. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (above, wearing blue) at an event this month in Felda Ulu Belitong, where free packets of flour were given out. Worker
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (wearing blue) at an event this month in Felda Ulu Belitong, where free packets of flour were given out.PHOTO: BERNAMA

Opposition eyes rural voters as BN tackles land agency scandals

The Malaysian opposition parties in the last general election captured most urban constituencies and many semi-urban wards with large numbers of ethnic Chinese voters. But the opposition has failed to win many rural Malay seats, especially in the Felda heartland.

With the next election just round the corner, the opposition knows the road to federal power passes through Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) plantations that are strongholds of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2018, with the headline 'Looming battle over Felda strongholds'. Print Edition | Subscribe