SHAH ALAM – The government is urged to create a scheme like Felda and Felcra for the Indians in line with the manifesto of Pakatan Harapan (PAKATAN), V Ganabatirau said.
EXCO of Empowerment, Socio Economic Development and the Government Concerned, the Indian community is keen to work in the plantation sector if the complete facilities and income plans are introduced to them.
“For many years, many Indians have been set aside in the name of development,” he said in a statement.
“By giving land to families to develop such as Felda and Felcra, it is certain that it will attract local people, especially Indians who have contributed significantly in the past to work in this sector, thus improving their standard of living,” he added.
The Kota Kemuning State Assemblyman said that before 1980, Malaysia was once known as the agricultural state with rubber and palm oil was the main export to the world.
He said the commodity still contributed significantly to our country’s economy, but the country has forgotten the contribution of Indians in developing the plantation sector for decades.
“Many of the major plantation companies that are now part of the GLCs are built on the efforts of the Indians, unfortunately these contributions are not recognized by these companies,” he said.
“No equity-sharing scheme or land is offered to these Indians as they are regarded as workers rather than regarded as partners,” he said.
Elaborating further, he said, the scheme was offered under Felda and Felcra with families given about five acres or more to own and develop the land.
“Palm oil is sold at a good price. This gives families a steady income to survive, and all facilities such as schools, places of worship, water, electricity are organized for them, “he said.
He said Felda and Felcra were government agencies that deal with resettlement of rural populations to newly developed areas to boost their economic standards.
“In many places Indian workers are forced to move to other areas and are replaced with foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and India,” he said.
“When proper guidance is lost, these Indians will be lost amidst the rapid development of the country. Urban poverty, less job opportunities and stress will contribute to the poverty of the Indian community to date,” he stated.
“The government should think and plan along this line instead of bringing Bangladeshis, Nepalese or Africans.”