KUALA LUMPUR: Felda will be restructured so that it remains competitive and profitable at all times, irrespective of the global financial situation, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
The deputy prime minister said the restructuring will ensure Felda moves into the “next level of growth for success” of its staff and as a commercial entity.
He added he had advised the Felda management to always set aside a reserve fund to cater for eventualities like a drop in prices of commodities such as palm oil and rubber.
“Owing to the cyclical process, the prices of commodities are bound to rise and fall. Therefore, it is incumbent on the management to be prudent and use the reserve funds during challenging times when prices drop.
“We must ensure the socio-economic development of settlers by returning profits to them. This will reflect Felda as a modern entity that provides a source of wealth for all,” Najib said at Felda’s Hari Raya open house here. He said this was one of the reasons Felda could continue to pay bonuses to settlers and staff despite fluctuations in palm oil prices, which were expected to pick up soon owing to demand for bio-fuel.
Najib announced that a total of 84,581 of the 112,635 settlers would be paid incentive bonus totalling RM144.44 million by the year’s end.
They will get between a minimum incentive bonus of RM700 and a maximum of RM2,000 each, which would be paid in cash.
This range is higher than last year, when the minimum bonus pay-out was RM600 and the maximum was RM1,800 per settler.
Najib said some settlers would not be eligible for the incentive bonus for not sending their produce to Felda’s oil palm mills and because their harvests were below the minimum quantity.
“Settlers who manage their own estates are not paid the incentive bonus, too.”
Source : The New Straits Times