|Felda Besout 2 A Good Example Of Rural Success
Felda settlers Hj Shuib Harun and his wife Nor Faezah came to Felda Gunung Besout 2 way back in 1982. Pix: Nor Hashimah Ismail
A Special Report By Nor Hashimah Ismail
SLIM RIVER (Perak), May 26 (Bernama) -- The Felda Gunung Besout 2 (FGB 2) land scheme today stands testimony to the success of rural development.
The Felda Gunung Besout covering 11,409 hectares of land near Sungkai in Perak has seven clusters established in stages from 1974 to 1988.
According to Haji Ismail Sidek who has been living there since the last 20 years, FGB 2 has transformed from a settlers' colony to a modern township with facilities similar to the ones found in bigger towns.
Ismail who is also a religious teacher with the Sekolah Agama Rakyat Nurul Huda noted that FBG 2 at present boasts for an affluent society.
There are 495 settlers in FGB 2 with total population of 2,970. Each family is allocated 0.10 hectares for housing and 4.04 hectares for oil palm tree.
On the whole, the settlers in FGB 2 take home between RM2,000 and RM6,000 monthly based on today's market price for palm oil.
PREVAILING HARMONY SERVES AS A CATALYST FOR DEVELOPMENT
A harmonious society thriving here has engendered the cooperative spirit among the people to find ways to improve their livelihood.
Felda on its part has contributed tremendously for their well-being, be it financially or through motivation.
"Felda has been constantly motivating the settlers to achieve greater success," explained Mahlabiah Zakaria, 59, one of the senior citizens in the settlement.
Along the transformation that FGB 2 underwent, it has also witnessed the birth of successful settlers.
Among them are the husband wife team of Adnan Hasan, 48, affectionately known as Nan Kontrak and wife Khatijah Awang Desa, 46, better known as Jah Nan.
Adnan recalled that he initially came to Teluk Intan from Kedah with his wife and three children in search of a better future before moving to FGB 2 in 1988.
He started of as security personnel at the land scheme before becoming a settler himself.
Apart from his oil palm venture, Nan tried his hand as a building contractor helping friends build houses, hall and others.
Adnan who is shrewd in seeking opportunities once even landed an agricultural contract worth RM740,000.
WHEN THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY
Though Adnan and his wife only attended school up to form three, they did not see their lack of education as a barrier to seeking a better future.
"When there is a will, there is a way," said Adnan turning his gaze to his wife.
He firmly believed that he had to use all his resources if he wanted to see his wife and children lead a good life. The word failure is not in Adnan's vocabulary as he feels Felda has provided all the assistance needed for the Bumiputera community to forge ahead.
As for Jah Nan, a healthy competition with her husband bore results when she was selected as the winner of the exemplary women settler's award in 2007.
Jah Nan who is also the secretary-general of Confederation of Women's Association (GPW) in FGB 2, said that continuous hard work is important for success.
Now the husband and wife team have taken another bold step forward by setting up a company, Syarikat Nanda Jaya Enterprise Besout, that operates from their home.
SETTLERS CHILDREN EXCEL IN STUDIES
The success of the settlers is not only limited to business ventures but also in education.
Haji Shuib Haji Harun, 64, better known as Ustaz Ayub, successfully educated his children up to the tertiary level.
Five of his children have completed or are completing their tertiary studies while the youngest is still in form four.
Haji Shuib noted that the `soft' approach that he and his wife Nor Faezah took in educating their children bore results in ensuring their children's success in education.
Harusin, 35, the eldest child of the couple completed his studies at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Harison, 34, the second in the family studied at Cosmopoint. While the third Tanti Suhaiza, 31, studied at Politeknik Ungku Omar Ipoh.
The fourth member Habsah, 29, is in UIAM while Zurina, 26, the fifth is in Universiti Malaya(UM)and the youngest Afrah Nadiah is in the Sekolah Integrasi Gopeng.
Hj Shuib who came to FGB 2 in 1982, related that the hardship that he once experienced are history now especially after his oil palm trees matured coupled with the success of his children.
He added that even when he was earning as low as RM200 a month, his children's education remained a priority.
FBG 2 AN EXEMPLARY RURAL DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS
Meanwhile, the General Manager for GFB 2 Encik Shahabudin Dat wants to see FGB 2 emerge as an exemplary rural setlement with those in the middle income bracket earning not less that RM2,000 per month.
"Currently each family in FGB 2 could afford a comfortable home and a car.
"I will further expand Felda's mission and vision by providing more employment opportunities, increasing settlers' income by creating more new entrepreneurs and empowering the existing ones," said Shahudin who has been with Felda since 1982.
Shahudin also said that the success of the settlers' children in education is one of the important elements in fulfilling Felda's goals.
According to Shahudin, FGB 2 serves as a good example for the success of rural development.