Muhyiddin Yassin today urged the government not to marginalise the Felda settlers due to their apparent support for Perikatan Nasional (PN) at the recent general election.
The PN chairman said the Felda settlers had received no attention in the new budget for 2023 tabled by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim last month.
"Doesn't the Madani government see the Felda settlers as an important community in need of assistance?
"Or is this a form of political revenge by Pakatan Harapan (PH) against the Felda settlers who were known to have rejected it at the 15th general election?"
Muhyiddin was referring to the decision to discontinue the debt settlement initiative of RM8 billion due to problems with Felda's cash flow.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, he said the initiative announced under the PN administration had had a significant impact on Felda's cash flow as the settlers' debts were bad debts.
He said Felda had also been issued RM9.9 billion worth of sukuk guaranteed by the government.
He also criticised the budget itself, claiming that it showed no clear direction in efforts to rejuvenate the economy.
He likewise questioned the absence of the manifesto promises made by PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the budget, presented on Feb 24, including the pledge to channel equal allocations for all parliamentary constituencies, eliminate the cartels in the food sector, and write off the debts of the poor as well as scholarships for the B40 group.
"Is Tambun bold enough to admit that PH's manifesto vows were mere political rhetoric?" he said, referring to Anwar, the Tambun MP.
"What about the manifesto promises of the other parties in the coalition government?"
Muhyiddin went on to criticise the budget proposal to credit RM500 to the accounts of Employee Provident Fund (EPF) members aged 40 to 54 with savings of less than RM10,000, saying this would only benefit a handful of contributors.
"Nearly 53% of active members will not benefit from this allocation," he said.
"And those below the age of 40 will be denied their right to receive the same aid.
"Meanwhile the calls to allow contributors to withdraw from their EPF savings have been ignored. It is clear that the present government is not interested in the troubles of the people who are suffering due to the high cost of living."