By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, March 1: The Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) has been urged to take appropriate action against the management of Felcra Bhd in Sarawak (Felcra Sarawak) for failing to provide high dividend returns to participants.
Igan MP Ahmad Johnie Zawawi said he had received a written statement alleging Felcra Sarawak has failed to do so nor formulate a good action plan for the benefit of the participants.
He took note that among the reasons given by the organisation for the said returns were serious encroachment issues related to Felcra Bhd projects and that the implementation of the projects was scattered and small in size which is mostly less than 50 hectares, causing difficulties to manage water problems and irrigation systems efficiently.
“If that is the case, why in the early stages did the management of Felcra Bhd proceed with this project if they already knew it was not viable?
“This is a waste of people’s money and gives vain hope to the participants,” he said when debating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech in the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Feb 28).
Since 1987, Felcra Sarawak has managed an area of about 117,945 acres of oil palm plantations involving a total of 20,307 participants under the Consolidation and Rehabilitation Plantation Management (P&P) project which includes Ladang Rakyat and Ladang Sejahtera participants.
Johnie also sought clarification on Felcra Bhd’s long-term action plan to ensure viable oil palm plantation management that will provide high dividend returns to participants apart from closure on the shortage of workers and actions taken by the company to address the problem.
He also requested data on oil palm plantations which no longer have economic cycle and the number of participants affected apart from the information on how many tonnes of annual yield per hectare of every plantation and how many areas are viable for replanting programmes.
At the same time, he took note that one of the causes for the low dividend returns to participants was due to some participants
still in debt over the cost of developing the plantation.
“Therefore, I propose and request that the outstanding development costs of the plantation be disposed of by the government.
“Felcra Bhd should also be transparent in the calculation of profit and loss transactions with participants so that the participants know the status of their long-term investments,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily