Friday, March 12, 2010

Felda vote bank is Najib’s golden goose

While the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), chalking up RM15.3 billion revenue in 2008, is Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s financial comfort, his real golden goose, politically speaking, is the almost one million settlers in 250 settlements across the country.

Initiated by his father, premier Tun Razak Hussein in 1956, the agriculture project which powered the economic development of the rakyat under the New Economic Policy is now the final “bastion of absolute support for Najib”.

“He (Najib) keeps the settlements close to him using the Malay sentiment. It’s his last bastion of absolute support for Umno. It’s actually Umno’s life-line and Najib’s golden goose," said PAS central information chief Idris Ahmad.

He said at the 12th general election PAS managed to wrest Semantan and Berserah constituencies in Najib’s home state,Pahang.

“But Umno had a clear win in other areas because of the support of Felda authorities who barred the opposition parties from the settlements,” Idris said.

Felda settlers, who number about one million, are located largely in the strongholds of Umno -- Pahang and Johor.

He said as such, Umno could not afford any form of infiltration by the opposition into these schemes and the minds of settlers.

“It’s the only reason they arrested Mazlan (Ahmad) on Wednesday. Mazlan and his team were making inroads talking to settlers. They (Umno) hope that arresting him will frighten away the settlers," he said.

Mazlan is the president of the association of children of Felda settlers, who have been working through the schemes holding regular ceramah despite pressure and objections from Felda management. He was detained on Wednesday and released yesterday.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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