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More Felda settlers step up to dispute Anwar's claim on debt settlement

They say the prime minister's statement that Muhyiddin Yassin did not implement the disposal of Felda settlers' debts is misleading.

Staff Writers
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A Felda settler works at an oil palm plantation in Felda Pasoh 4, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan.
A Felda settler works at an oil palm plantation in Felda Pasoh 4, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan.

More Felda settlers have come forward to dispute recent remarks by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on the settlement of debts amounting to some RM8.3 billion.

A first-generation settler of Taib Andak Felda, Tosrin Jarvanthi, 73, said there was a Felda settler's loan statement that was evidence of the settlement of the settler's debt made in 2021, Sinar Harian reports.

"I went to the management office of Felda Taib Andak to collect the settler's loan statement and the matter turned out to be true.

"That was the first time a Felda settler debt was written off since I became a settler in 1979," he said, as quoted by the news portal.

On July 8, Anwar, on his visit to Universiti Utara Malaysia, had said that he signed the debt settlement at the end of June. 

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in his response to Anwar, said the resolution of the settlers' debt was implemented during his tenure as prime minister, and that this was confirmed by the minister in the Prime Minister's Department in a parliamentary response on Feb 23.

He said the minister had stated that the resolution of the settlers' debt was carried out in 2021.

During a speech at the Felda Settlers' Day celebration in Serdang on July 7, Anwar had said the government will continue the deferred financing of Felda sukuk by allocating funds of up to RM1 billion per year for the next 10 years to Felda.

Meanwhile, a second-generation settler Khairol Nizam Kusnin, 38 said he found it hard to believe when Muhyiddin announced the cancellation of Felda's debt two years ago.

He added that after the settler's loan statement was issued by the Felda management office, it turned out that part of the settler's debt had been written off.

"I'm confused by what Anwar said about the Felda settlers' debt disposal.

"I hope the government and Felda can provide clear statements with evidence so as not to mislead the settlers and the second generation of Felda in the country," he said.

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