SAVOURING THE MOMENT: Windfall from Federal Government allows Felda families to have big celebrations
KUANTAN: THIS year's Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration is set to be extra special for Felda settlers as they make plans to mark the festival in a more meaningful and joyful way.
They have every reason to celebrate as besides their monthly income and duit raya, an annual allocation for the settlers since 2003, every family will also receive a total windfall of RM15,000 which is being distributed in conjunction with the listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH).
The settlers and their spouses have already received a RM10,000 payout which they are spending for Hari Raya.
Their children or the second generation of settlers have to remain a little patient as they are expected to receive their share of RM5,000 after the Raya celebrations.
With the additional cash, the families have made various plans besides having their houses painted or buying new furniture.
Some families will also hold special feasts by inviting the entire settlement to their homes while others are planning reunion dinners, family holidays and giving extra duit raya to children.
Bukit Goh village headman Mat Zahari Derahman admitted that Hari Raya celebrations this year were going to be special for the settlers, saying there would be extra excitement.
The 64-year-old said Aidilfitri celebrations in Felda settlements, which adopted a traditional concept, were usually filled with fun, but there could be more this year.
"Besides painting and cleaning their homes, settlers this year plan to set up canopies for bigger feasts accompanied by music," he added.
Settler Zainal Abidin Yusof, 76, has been making special preparations to surprise his nine children who will be returning home to celebrate the occasion with him at Felda Kota Gelanggi 4, Bandar Jengka.
"I plan to treat my children with barbecue lamb as I have received some extra duit raya.
"Thanks to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for bringing more cheer to our Hari Raya celebrations this year."
Settler Salmiah Hamid, from Felda Lurah Bilut, Bentong, has arranged to take her family on an outing to Malacca on the third day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and visit some relatives during their stay there.
The 67-year-old mother of four said her children had agreed to her plans.
"Every year my children will bring my husband and I for short trips and this year I decided to make early plans. Moreover, I have extra cash distributed by the government and want to spend some of it," she said, adding the "windfall" distributed by the government had allowed settlers to be a little lavish this Hari Raya.
Shahriman Budin, 70, from Felda Bera Selatan, Bera said with the "windfall" there would be extra duit raya for his grandchildren and also for the children who come to his house on the first and second days of Hari Raya.
"I have been busy filling the green Raya packets with new notes and this year they deserve a little more."
First-generation settlers from Bukit Goh, Majid Daud, 71, and wife, Zaharah Mohd, 61, plan to have a grand celebration as well as buy new clothes for all family members.