ROMPIN – The reduced price of houses for the second generation Felda settlers is not candy for the voters in the Rompin parliamentary seat by-election, as claimed by the opposition.
UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussien said, on the other hand, the move, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, was among ongoing efforts to improve the welfare of Felda settlers.
“The government is always concerned about the needs of the settlers and the housing programme is to ease the anxiety of their children to own a house.”
Hishammuddin, who is also Rompin Barisan Nasional (BN) by-election machinery chief co-ordinator, said this after attending a gathering with Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Johor BN machinery in Kampung Parit Raja, Kuala Pontian, Rompin, Sunday.
Hishamuddin said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim was expected to announce the expansion of the Felda new generation housing programme to other areas in stages.
He was asked on Najib’s announcement on the reduction in the price of houses for the second generation Felda settlers to RM90,000 from RM125,000.
He was also asked on the construction of 1,504 houses for Felda’s young generation in the Rompin parliamentary area, namely, in Felda Selancar 4/5 (480 units), Felda Keratong 4 (264 units), Felda Selendang 2 (360 units) and Felda Keratong 7 (400 units).
“We will expand in stages but what is important now is that the need of the second generation Felda settlers to own a house which has been championed by BN candidate Datuk Hasan Arifin, prior to this, has reached the government,” he said.
“Coincidentally, the matter (Felda housing) was raised (by Hasan) during the by-election. I believe the government and Felda are not looking at Rompin alone, but championing the welfare of the second generation.
“It is a continuity of the foundation of struggle from the time of the late Tun Abdul Razak,” said Hishammuddin who also questioned the changes brought about by the opposition in Penang and Kelantan to the settlers in the two states.
Last Friday, Hasan urged the prime minister to review the price of 18,000 second generation Felda houses here as they were priced beyond the reach of the young in Felda, at RM120,000 to RM140,000 per unit.
Touching on the final preparation in the run-up to polling on Tuesday, Hishammuddin said BN did not view the by-election this time as easy but was confident of the support of the people in Rompin.
The by-election will see a straight fight between Hasan and PAS candidate Nazri Ahmad following the death of incumbent Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis in a helicopter mishap in Semenyih, Selangor on April 4.
A total 460 early voters or 84.4 per cent of the 545 early voters in the constituency cast their votes on Thursday, at four voting centres. Another 52,744 voters will vote on Tuesday. – BERNAMA