What’s your motive for shipping farmers into city on Sept 16? NGO asks Felda
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National Felda Settlers Children Association (ANAK) president, Mazlan Aliman said the farmers had received a letter dated Friday informing them Felda would be ferrying them into the national capital in Jalan Conlay for an event on September 16 to kick off at 11am called “Himpunan Warga Felda Sempena Hari Malaysia”.
However, a sceptical Mazlan demanded Felda general manager Datuk Hanapi Suhada explain the purpose of holding an event in the city on the same day as a similarly-named rally called “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” organised by Malay martial arts group Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Malaysia (Pesaka).
“What does it mean ‘Assembly that represents the unity and togetherness of Felda settlers’ along with the attendance of organisations and non-governmental organisations?” Mazlan asked in his Facebook page yesterday.
“Is it related to the ‘Red Shirts’ rally that will be held on the same day?” he questioned further, and demanded Felda also clarify if it was using the land authority’s public funds to bus in farmers for the event.
Mazlan said that if the event was related to the rally, it should be cancelled immediately as Felda needed to focus on handling the settlers’ well-being and not drag them to an event that will be harmful to them.
Felda will be sending about 20,000 settlers from various states in 500 buses to Kuala Lumpur on September 16 for their event.
In its email directive issued by the community development director, Felda allegedly said the event “represents the unity and togetherness of Felda settlers along with the attendance of organisations and non-governmental organisations”.
Pesaka’s September 16 rally has drawn uproar from several Malaysian groups after it was linked to a Malay uprising that called on the country’s dominant race to wear red clothing and gather in city areas seen as populated by the ethnic-Chinese to protest their purportedly domination of last month’s Bersih 4 rally for institutional reforms.
However, Pesaka president, Tan Sri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, has clarified that the rally is open to all Malaysians and denied that the rally was called “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” (Malay Dignity Rally), a name that has been associated with the rally that is seen as being for Malay groups only.
The former Malacca chief minister also insisted that Pesaka’s intentions were peaceful despite concerns over its racial overtones.
The rally was held in response to the overnight Bersih 4 rally held last month demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over several scandals associated with 1 Malaysia Development Berhad.