Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bully the Felda Settlers

When Najib Razak and UMNO say they are defending the Malays, it is a load of bull. Felda's move to impose a forced discount on the buying price of fresh oil palm fruit, has badly hit Felda settlers – almost all of whom are Malays – who grow and sell the crop.

On Monday, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar had revealed a memo sent under the letterhead of Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd that informs sellers that effective October 01, 2012 the revised buying price of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) will be based on the current market price of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) minus RM200 per tonne. The simple explanation given for this regrettable move was because of the unstable market situation and low demand. This letter was distributed to the media by Nurul Izzah. Already, since last month, Felda setlers are reeling in massive disappointment as their earnings have decimated by 50 percent due to declining global prices.

Felda knows that these unfortunate planters do not have a choice. Most of them must sell to Felda due to the proximity of the latter's factory while others are contracted to sell to Felda to service their debt.

Nurul Izzah has pointed out that the unilateral buying price cut raises a legal issue as the letter was signed by Ismail Hasan, the chief executive officer of Felda Global Ventures Plantation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (FGVPM), a subsidiary of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH).

How can this happen when Felda Holdings is in fact 51 percent owned by the settlers and only 49 percent by FGVH? How is it possible that FGVH can override the majority settlers' interest by dictating the discount at the expense of the settlers?

Nurul had asked a very pertinent question. "If prices of CPO drops, shouldn't everyone equally share the burden? Why should settlers be made to take on more than its share of the burden? This is pure and simple, a case of corporate greed bullying settlers".

You do not have to be very smart to know that, again, the Malays are screwing their own kind. Sadly, the ordinary Malay folks are the ones who are being impoverished by the elitist Malays!

On Tuesday, I was at the Speecom Toastmasters meeting. I was there in my capacity as the Evaluator for a member who delivered CC speech #4. And I did well because I was voted Best Evaluator. This small achievement should give me confidence when I face other contestants in the Division G Humorous Speech & Evaluation contests this Sunday. This club continues to show great enthusiasm in the manner it conducts its meetings and I am happy to note that the membership is growing. I was impressed with Chloe Yong’s speech because it was personal, heart-warming and discerning and not forgetting also Jennifer Pan who was the General Evaluator. This charming lady was cogent, compelling and constructive. A score of a 7.5 out of a 10 for this meeting.

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