Gempur FELDA Hulu Selangor
By Zefry Dahalan
KUALA KUBU BAHARU: Land rights activist Mazlan Aliman has vowed to defy an order barring him from settlements run by the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).
He said he would go into Felda land schemes to campaign for the Pakatan Rakyat candidate in the April 23 Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.
Mazlan is the president of ANAK, an organisation representing the interests of the children of Felda settlers and a fierce critic of the land authority and of Barisan Nasional.
Last month, Mazlan was arrested while speaking to a group of settlers in Felda Lembah Klau, Pahang.
In June last year, Felda filed a suit against him over his book ‘Felda: Dulu Tolong, Sekarang Along’ (Felda: Once a Saviour, Now a Shylock).
In an interview with FMT, he said he would exercise his right as a Malaysian citizen to be at any place in the country, including any Felda settlement area.
He said the order barring him from the settlements was unconstitutional.
“With the help of the ANAK volunteers, I will be campaigning for the PKR candidate in all the Felda schemes in Hulu Selangor,” he said.
There are five Felda settlements within the Hulu Selangor constituency: Gedangsa, Suharto, Sungai Buaya, Sungai Tenggi and Sungai Tenggi Selatan.
Mazlan, who is also a member of the PAS central committee, said he would expose all the misdeeds and abuses of power that the Felda management was guilty of.
One of the main issues he would highlight, he added, was the withholding of re-seeding funds that Felda had promised to settlers.
“This money belongs to the poor Felda settlers and was deducted from their incomes,” he said.
“Felda was supposed to return the money to settlers choosing to replant on their own. But 25,000 settlers nationwide still wait for their money. Many have been waiting for as long as 10 years. Do you think this is not an abuse of power?”
According to him, if the funds were released, each eligible settler would receive about RM17,000.
He also said he would raise the issue of compensation for settlers in Sungai Buaya whose land was taken over 15 years ago for development into a township.
About 400 settlers were involved and they should each receive about RM1 million, he added.