A culture of dependency has been entrenched among the FELDA settlers and it is stunting development within the community

FELDA settlers were never given any training on financial literacy but yet they are expected to be able to understand the seriousness of undertaking huge loans and large irregular sum of payment and that they are obligated to repay the same with interest.

This policy of easy loan giving by the previous Barisan Nasional regime was intentional and had brought the settlers a lifetime of crushing debt that will get passed upon their next generation, thus creating dependency on the government indefinitely.

This is one of the main reason why it was so hard for the Pakatan Harapan campaigners to enter FELDA settlements during previous elections the last time, to campaign for their candidates. The settlers were in fear of their livelihood, that their living allowance might be jeopardised and revoked for allowing Pakatan campaigners to come into their villages.

Granted, there are a few instances where FELDA settlers are blessed with huge sums of money either from the listing of FELDA Global Venture Berhad (FGV) or the occasional high rally in commodity prices. But with low financial literacy, a significant number FELDA settlers end up not managing their finances properly, spending most of the windfall earned with no awareness for rainy days.”

Hence, the Pakatan Harapan government, as part of its FELDA reform will include more educational and training element, especially on financial literacy, training the current and future generation with a more holistic education, slowly removing the entrenched dependency culture.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri