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JERANTUT: MALAYSIA’S 112,635 settler families will be getting a windfall of RM1.689 billion, or RM15,000 for each family.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the windfall, the highest payout ever made to Felda settlers nationwide, was also to reward their sacrifices as pioneers in the country’s oil palm industry. This is in addition to other benefits the settlers enjoy. “It has been a long journey since my late father (Tun Abdul Razak Hussein) started Felda in 1956. It is you (settlers) who started this journey with an axe in hand, clearing the jungle in Lurah Bilut, warding off the tigers
and the ghosts.
“It is you who have transformed Felda into what it is now. With the listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH), let this be the ultimate leap for you into the 21st century,” Najib said when addressing more than 40,000 settlers at Felda Jengka 8 here yesterday.
Firstly, he said, each settler would get a pink form to own FGVH shares and they would earn dividends from FGVH’s profits. They will be members of a trust fund which will own 20 per cent of FGVH.
“If FGVH makes a net profit of RM1.5 billion, each settler can earn a minimum dividend of RM1,331.
"This amount will be more when FGVH makes higher profits," Najib said.
Apart from that, settlers can earn between 14 and 15 per cent dividend as members of Koperasi Permodalan Felda, which owns 17 per cent stake of FGVH.
"Settlers will also get housing loans with no-interest payments, which is the best loan scheme in the world."
In recognition of their blood, sweat and tears in toiling in their oil palm estates as early as 1956, they also get to keep their plots, he said while expressing hopes that settlers will not sell their FGVH shares.
In addition, Najib announced that Felda's 20,000-strong staff, from top managers to staff, would be getting a 2.5-month bonus, which is on top of their yearly bonus, as appreciation for their hard work in managing the settlers.
Najib said the windfall would be raised from the listing of FGVH, which is Felda's wholly-owned commercial arm.
Under the initial public offering, FGVH, which is expected to float its shares on Bursa Malaysia by the end of next month, will have a market capitalisation of RM17 billion, making it one of Bursa Malaysia's top 20 firms with the largest market capitalisation. Under the windfall, each settler will be paid RM5,000 before the listing of FGVH.
Under phase two, RM5,000 will be paid out to each settler's wife after the listing. The last portion of RM5,000 will be paid to the second generation of Felda settlers.
The amount of RM5,000, under each phase for the wife and second generation, will be shared if the settler has more than one wife or one child.
Najib, who is also the minister in charge of Felda, said the payout under the first batch, totalling RM563.17 million, would be credited into the settlers' bank accounts within three weeks.
The payout, he said, did not include other payments such as production incentives, duit Raya and bonuses that are paid to settlers when crude palm oil fetches a higher price.