PUTRAJAYA: Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) has vowed to uphold Felda settlers’ welfare, who were affected by the European Union's (EU) strong arm tactics to smear Malaysia’s palm oil.
Its chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said : "I promise to bring up the settlers’ voices and rights when the time is right. They (the settlers) are the Malays. Without Felda, the Malays will suffer.
“Armada will bring it directly to the party (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) top leadership and to the government,” said Syed Saddiq, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister.
In his policy speech at the first Armada assembly here today, he urged the government to kickstart a serious and bold movement to address the issues faced by the Felda settlers.
“Fight the EU. If they can boycott Felda products, we must fight. If the EU can boycott Felda, we can do the same (on the EU). Armada will call for the support from the members of Parliament and the Cabinet to fight the EU. #BangunFELDA movement should begin,” he said.
He added Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Bersatu chairman, had once mobilised Buy British Last campaign in 1981 when tuition fees for Malaysian students had been raised.
Syed Saddiq said Malaysia was the biggest producer of palm, comprising 42 per cent of the world’s production.
“How did Malaysia become the main producer of palm oil? It involves every Felda settler to raise Malaysia’s name and the country’s palm oil products.
“The Felda settlers work hard for this. But the EU blocks Felda. I have met the settlers who work under the hot sun with low return.
“The government has done everything, but the foreign nations, who have their own interests to protect, have decided to block our palm oil.
“They give all sorts of reasons, but the reality is the EU likes to bully the small nations. We control (the big pie) of palm oil production). They are afraid,” he added.
Syed Saddiq said the time was ripe for Malays to rise up and confront the bigger nations.
“To my friends in the EU, you are hurting the poorest of the poor in Malaysia. I will not allow that. We will fight back to protect our fellow Felda people. Rise up Felda!”
The European Parliament reportedly is moving towards banning the use of palm oil in biofuels and some nations have acted to ban the commodity over concerns that it causes widespread environmental destruction.