by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 16th January 1995:
DAP forms Bureau to Defend Rights of FELDA Settlers under the chairmanship of Salleh Ahmad which will organise Conference of FELDA settlers to fight for their legitimate rights
DAP has formed a National DAP Bureau to Defend Rights of FELDA Settlers under the chairmanship of Salleh Ahmad which will organise Conference of FELDA settlers as the first step to fight for the legitimate rights if the FELDA settlers and to get greater justice from the Government and FELDA.
Salleh Ahmad is Chairman of the FELDA Taib Andak DAP Branch in Kulai which was formed yesterday. This is the fourth FELDA DAP Branch to be formed and the first FELDA DAP Branch to be formed in Johor.
The Conference of FELDA settlers, scheduled to be held in Johor in March, will highlight the grievances of the FELDA settlers and press the Government and FELDA administration to keep their promise to issue individual land titles to FELDA settlers who had repaid all their loans and to resolve the outstanding grievances of FELDA settlers, particularly with regard to monthly deductions and greater democracy and accountability by the FELDA management in the FELDA schemes.
The FELDA Taib Andak scheme, for instance, was opened in 1960 and the settlers had repaid all their loans by 1981. However, some 60 percent of the settlers had not been issued their individual land titles as promised by the Government and FELDA in the past 14 years – which is a clear breach of trust as well as a violation of the contract entered into between the Government and the FELDA settlers in 1960.
The 60 percent of the settlers at FELDA Taib Andak had not been issued their individual titles because they refused to sign an agreement assigning the right to manage their separate holdings to the FELDA management.
Although the 60 per cent of the settlers had not been issued their individual titles, they are managing their holdings on their own as compared to the 40 per cent of the settlers who had signed over their right of management of their holdings to FELDA.
The 60 percent of the settlers at FELDA Taib Andak are getting a higher income from their own management of their holdings – as high as more than five times the holdings which had been surrendered to FELDA for management.
The Barisan Nasional government should immediately issue individual titles to all FELDA settlers who have repaid their loans, and if FELDA settlers can get higher incomes from their own management instead of being managed by FELDA, all FELDA settlers should be given the option of whether to manage on their own or to surrender their holdings to be managed by FELDA.
The DAP is prepared to look into the legality of FELDA refusing to issue individual titles to the FELDA settlers, as well as to whether FELDA settlers could revoke their contract with FELDA to assign management of their holdings to FELDA so that they could get higher incomes for their own management.