Putrajaya MP Radzi Jidin today questioned the lack of provisions for the welfare of Felda settlers in the new budget for 2023, tabled by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim last week.
He said this was unlike the budget for 2021 presented by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, which had eliminated some RM8 billion in settler debts.
Muhyiddin's budget had also allocated RM400 million to write off settler farm debts and for the Felda development programme.
Radzi also cited Felda's investment in Indonesian company Eagle High Plantation (EHP) through a RM2.3 billion loan from the finance ministry.
"EHP's share price, when bought by Felda's wholly-owned subsidiary, FICP, in October 2016, was 565 rupiahs per share. On Feb 21, 2023, the price would only be 66 rupiah.
"Overall, the investment value of RM2.3 billion would be only around 10%," he said in his debate on the Supply Bill 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat.
He asked the government to explain how much debt Felda had paid and the amount still owed to Govco for the purchase of EHP shares.
"What is the effect of the debt payment on Felda's finances? What benefits have Felda achieved so far as a result of the purchase of EHP shares?" he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said previously said that the government could not continue the cancellation of settler debts introduced under Muhyiddin's administration.
Radzi also asked the government about the subsidy components to be cut this year ollowing the decrease in total subsidies from RM80 billion last year to RM64 billion this year.