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Govt waiver on settlers’ loans has severely impacted Felda’s cash flow

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 25/2/2023 FMT Reporters
The Muhyiddin Yassin administration waived RM8.3 billion in Felda settlers’ loans in 2021. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today The Muhyiddin Yassin administration waived RM8.3 billion in Felda settlers’ loans in 2021.

PETALING JAYA: The RM8.3 billion in waiver of a portion of settlers’ loans has had a major impact on Felda’s cash flow.

Its chairman, Idris Jusoh, said it is now unable to facilitate a second waiver.

Felda had in 2021 waived a significant portion of its settlers’ loans, amounting to RM8.3 billion, from a total of RM12.1 billion.

“Repayment of the remaining loans will now continue to ensure the survival of the organisation and enable Felda to continue looking after the welfare of the settlers,” he said in a statement.

“At the same time, the government remains committed to helping settlers.

“It is implementing various initiatives to boost their income and ensure their debt does not accumulate further.”

Idris was responding to law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said’s written reply in Parliament that the government is putting a halt to the initiative, which was started by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.

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 had 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).

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