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TJ KB STS: Peneroka Felda Merana - Harga Minyak Kelapa Sawit Menjunam
By Joceline Tan
3/3/2001 11:26 am Sat
Saya tidak berhasrat untuk menterjemahkan semua sekali. Fakta dan
keadaan hidup para peneroka Felda harus dirakam disini.
Peneroka FELDA menanam mengikut apa yang tercatat dalam kontrek
dan seliaan pihak yang membeli, yakni FELDA sendiri. Setiap bulan
mereka menerima gaji yang sudah dipotong kerana kos mendudukki tanah,
membeli baja atau racun, membayar insuran dan barangan runcit yang
dibeli dari kedai Felda.
Seorang peneroka bernama En Hormat yang mempunyai lapan orang anak
hanya mendapat RM80 sahaja selepas ditolak semua potongan. Seorang
dari jirannya terpaksa memberhentikan anak mereka bersekolah kerana
tidak mampu membayar kos pengangkutan.
Ini bermakna petani seperti En Hormat cuma berpendapatan kasar
sekitar RM400 sahaja sebulan. Ini di bawah paras kemiskinan
negara (RM 450 sebulan).
Ada petani yang menjual kepada pihak ketiga hasil tani mereka
walaupun ini bercanggah kepada kontrek tetapi apakan daya, mereka
sudah terpaksa kerana bantuan tidak tiba-tiba.
Yang menariknya kebanyakkan ladang FELDA ini berada dinegri yang
kuat UMNOnya dan kuat judinya juga - iaitu Pahang Darul Kasino.
Dan terdapat 103,000 peneroka seumpama mereka di seluruh negara
dan rata-rata melayu belaka. Sekiranya masalah mereka dibiarkan
sahaja Umno akan kehilangan undi yang tidak sedikit jumlahnya.
Nampaknya kemelesetan ekonomi akan menggugat negeri yang dulunya
milik tradisi UMNO. Pahang dengan kelapa sawitnya dan Selangor
serta Johor dengan pekerja kilang elektroniknya. Mungkinkah ini
satu hukum karma kerana menghukum manusia yang tidak berdosa
dan memangkah dacing yang tidak berguna?
-TJ Kapal Berita-
From The Singapore Straits Times
Felda farmers suffer as palm oil prices dive
With prices at a 13-year low, farmers take home as little as RM100 a
month. Some take up a second job, working 18-hour days for little pay
By Joceline Tan
IN KUALA LUMPUR
THE faces of the Malay men at the tea-stall said it all. They were
grim, and weather-beaten, and the men spoke in somber tones.
They are oil palm farmers or smallholders from a government Federal
Land Development Agency (Felda) plantation named 'Triang 3' in
Temerloh, Pahang. And they have been hard-hit by the lowest palm oil
prices in 13 years.
Like oil palm growers elsewhere in the country, they were in no
'Last month, after deducting this and that with the Felda office,
there was only RM80 to take home,' Mr Hormat Abdul Rahman, 48 and a
father of eight, said to explain how desperate the situation had
become for some of them.
One of his neighbours stopped sending his children to school as he
could not fork out the few ringgit for transportation.
Overproduction of palm oil worldwide has depressed crude oil prices to
about RM800 (S$360) per tonne or about RM110 per tonne of fresh fruit
Overproduction of palm oil worldwide has depressed crude oil prices to about RM800 (S$360) per tonne or about RM110 per tonne of fresh fruit bunches.
It means farmers like Mr Hormat end up with barely RM400 per month,
with the take-home amount at less than RM100 after deductions by Felda
for costs and expenses such as the loan for the farm, fertiliser,
insurance and sundry goods from the Felda store.
Pahang, where Mr Hormat's scheme is located, has 97 of the 275 Felda
schemes, making it the state with the most number of such estates.
The plight of farmers of like Mr Hormat has not gone unnoticed by
Umno, Malaysia's ruling political party.
It cannot afford not to, given that these schemes are 99 per cent
Malay populated and sitting squat in the Malay heartland.
In fact, Umno has reacted with remarkable speed.
A Cabinet committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been set up to study ways to help the
Felda has been directed to set aside RM70 million to subsidise the
farmers following a meeting between Umno Youth and the Ministry of
Land and Cooperative Development.
A mass replanting incentive of RM1,000 per hectare that will cost the
government RM200 million is also underway.
'The government should also consider stopping the monthly deductions
from the farmers' income for the time being. A family of six or seven
cannot live on RM500 a month,' said lawyer Ismail Sabri Yaakob, an
energetic Umno Youth politician from Temerloh.
The poverty level in Malaysia is RM450 per household per month.
'This is a very serious issue for us,' said Mr Ismail who heads the
Youth wing's action committee on Felda farmers.
Felda was a 1970s brainchild of the second Malaysian Prime Minister,
Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, to open up agricultural estates for
land-hungry Malays. Today, its schemes are home to some 103,000 settler-families over a
land area approximately seven times the size of Singapore.
Today, its schemes are home to some 103,000 settler-families over a land area approximately seven times the size of Singapore.
The farmers move into what are basically 'ready-made farms' which they
pay for over a number of years while they work the land.
Since the price plunge, some farmers have resorted to selling their
harvest to private factories for immediate cash, an illegal act as
they are bound by contract to sell their fruit only to Felda; Felda
pays them at the end of the month.
A number of farmers from Triang 3 have also been forced to seek second
jobs outside the scheme as petrol pump attendants, dishwashers in
restaurants, gardeners and so on.
That means a working day that starts as early as 5 am and ends as late
as 11 pm - a long day for very little pay.