Pix: NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI
By OMAR RIDZUAN
NATIONAL Settlers Day was supposed to be a happy event where smallholders receive good news and the like.
But not all was hunky dory over the weekend at the celebration, which was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Possibly for the first time, some of the settlers allegedly booed at the Pakatan Harapan government, while some were said to have heckled at Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Later, however, Azmin denied that the smallholders were booing at him.
“There was a commotion at the back involving some smallholders.
They were not booing at me and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail can verify that,” said Azmin.
In a statement, Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the settlers were dissatisfied with the PH government for failing to boost crude palm oil prices.
Fresh fruit bunches dipped to RM300 from RM500 before while crude palm oil prices fell to RM1,900 a tonne compared to RM2,300 when BN was in power.
Almost all Felda settlers who only earn about RM300 a month are squeezed by the high cost of living paying deductions to cooperatives, computer loans, and house repairs.
Felda settlers were also livid that the management had failed to adhere to RM1,000 a month policy.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is also slow in channelling aid to Felda.
The PH government claims that by consolidating the plots, it will be economical but that is the current practice by Felda Technoplas and still, they receive no profit.
Asyraf, who is also UMNO Youth chief said Azmin had clearly failed to find ways to help the prime minister on how to assist the smallholders.
Smallholders are also angry with Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok for failing to push exports to China and the European Union.
Asyraf said Umno Youth can relate to the sufferings of the smallholders ever since PH took power 13 months ago.
It is time that PH stop blaming the opposition and start bucking up.