Govt halts Muhyiddin’s waiver of RM8.3b in Felda settlers’ loans

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The government is putting a halt to an initiative started by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration in abolishing a portion of Felda settler’s loans amounting to RM8.3 billion.


“The government will not be able to carry on writing off Felda settlers’ loans any longer as it has made a huge impact on Felda’s cash flow,” law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said in a written parliamentary reply.

She was responding to Kamal Ashaari (PN-Kuala Krau), who asked if Putrajaya would proceed with the loan waiver to Felda settlers.

She said collections for loan repayments must continue as it is a source of income for Felda to ensure its sustainability and the welfare of Felda settlers.

Such collections from the settlers are expected to make up 10.8% of Felda’s total revenue for 2023, she said.

In July 2021, Muhyiddin had announced that his government agreed to waive Felda settlers’ loans amounting to RM8.3 billion, subject to certain conditions.

These included loans for replanting exercises (92,441 settlers), fertilisers (52,180 settlers), FGV Holdings Bhd’s shares (38,043 settlers), and development capital (6,711 settlers).

Muhyiddin was reported to have said the waiver would reduce the burden of the loans on settlers by some 80%.

He added that the loan issue needed to be “corrected to allow Felda to restart”, and that it was also necessary in order for it to bounce back and be on par with other international plantations.

Azalina said Felda will continue to help settlers with other existing initiatives to ensure the settlers’ debt does not continue to rise. – FMT