BENTONG, Sept 30 — The Unity Government is taking proactive steps to resolve four issues involving infrastructure in Felda settlements, namely streetlights, rural health clinics, telecommunications and security checkpoints.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said surveys conducted by independent bodies revealed that issues concerning the lack of streetlights and health clinics were among the main grouses of the Felda community.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, at the Felda Day celebrations in July, announced an allocation for street lighting operation costs involving RM7.7 million per year for the benefit of Felda residents.
“I had also discussed with the Health Minister (Dr Zaliha Mustafa) for Felda settlements to be given priority. We will soon see this when the Prime Minister tables Budget 2024, where among the priority projects will be to develop and upgrade rural health clinics in the Felda areas,” he said.
He was speaking at the Sentuhan Kasih Desa @ Simpang Pelangai programme which was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Felda Chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said telecommunications was also another issue lamented by the Felda community, and the matter has now got the attention of Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.
The deputy prime minister said he had personally requested that most Felda areas be equipped with Starlink satellite devices.
As for security checkpoints, he said the matter has been entrusted to Ahmad Shabery.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said Menteris Besar, elected representatives and government agency heads must make it a point to meet the grassroots to understand the problems they are facing.
“The government knows all era is over, and so has the era in which the government thinks it is right. We must go down to the ground, the people’s grievances must be heard so that more informed decisions can be made for them. That is the government’s approach now.