The various incentives announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the Felda community are expected to positively impact the quality of life and welfare of the settlers, said Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
According to him, the recently announced initiatives, which include the Rahmah Health Contribution (SKR), demonstrate the MADANI Unity Government's commitment to prioritising the welfare of the Felda community and preventing them from being left behind in terms of development.
He said the government's efforts to implement the SKR initiative, build hemodialysis centres, and provide street lights demonstrate their commitment to reducing the hardships faced by the Felda community.
"The agenda on development and welfare in ensuring the well-being of the Felda community has always been the government's priority," he said when met at the Malaysia MADANI Community Wellbeing programme in conjunction with Terengganu Felda Settlers Day at Felda Kertih 5 here,
Ahmad Shabery said five of the 12 haemodialysis centres announced by the Prime Minister will be built this year, while the remaining seven will be built in stages over a period of two years.
As for the SKR and the allocation of street light operation costs, they will be disbursed soon as there are several processes that need to be done, he said.
Meanwhile, the head of the Felda settlers in Jerangau, Abd Razet Nordin, 67, said SKR was needed by the first generation of Felda settlers who are now ageing and in need of better healthcare.
He said with the increase in the cost of living, more expenses are needed to buy medicines or supplements although there are some medicines which are available for free at government clinics and hospitals.
"If you look at the value of RM300, the amount may seem small, but what is important is that it demonstrates the Prime Minister's concern for the hardships and welfare of the people of Felda," he added.
Abd Razet said he also felt relieved that the government also agreed to pay the cost of operating street lights in the Felda area.
According to him, the arrears of electricity bills for street lights in his locality has reached RM13,000 and need to be paid soon.
"I hope the money can be channelled immediately to the Felda areas. These street lights are necessary to avoid unwanted incidents and for the safety of the residents,” he said.
For Norimah Hassan, 75, from Felda Kertih 5, she said SKR reflects the government's seriousness in looking after the welfare and health of senior citizens like herself.
Although she has a few children of her own, Norimah said she has to support herself because her children have their own families and responsibilities. "
“My children do odd jobs in the village and there also have children of their own, So, I hope that the government will be able to speed up disbursement for SKR so that people like me can buy the medicine that we need,” she added.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency