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Settler Rejects RM1 Million Offer, Opts To Maintain Plantation

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KUANTAN – A resident of Kampung Felda Bukit Goh is determined not to lease her oil palm land to be turned into a bauxite ore mining area despite getting an offer that reached RM1 million as payment.

Salwani Tajuddin, 37, said even though many of the villagers had become ‘instant millionaires’, after leasing their land, their lives seemed to be listless.

“Indeed some of them have led a life of luxury after receiving high deposits from the bauxite operators but the money can only last for a while and they have to wait a long time to get their returns from the bauxite mining.

“There are settlers who are now forced to be security guards as their money is already spent and their oil palm land completely cleared to obtain bauxite,” she told Bernama.

Salwani said early last year, she was approached by a man who offered her a deposit of RM500,000 to mine bauxite in her four-hectare plantation, which she rejected.

She said the man however came back a few days later to offer a higher bid of RM1 million.

“After I turn down the RM1 million offer, the man was furious and said I was ‘stupid’ for rejecting that much money.

“But for me those who lease their land to the bauxite operators are the real losers as the money can only last for a while and their land will not return to its previous condition,” she said.

As a settler there for the last 18 years, Salwani said she did not want her oil plam to be affected by the bauxite mining activities.

She was also approached by the same man a few months later requesting that her land be used a ‘stockpile’ area for lorries and bauxite ore with a payment of RM5,000 monthly but she turned it down.

Meanwhile her father, Tajuddin Harun, 68, who runs a food stall at Kampung Felda Bukit Goh, said the bauxite operators did not fulfil their promise to provide a monthly compensation of RM1,000 for every trader and RM500 for every house.

Tajuddin said he only received a compensation of RM1,000 in November.

“Instead business is affected as not many customers are patronising our stalls due to the dust from the lorries carrying the bauxite and I am forced to fork out RM6,000 to install this canvas (to cover my stall),” he added.

— BERNAMA

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