Felda looks to transform its lands into smart cities by 2050

Farhana Syed Nokman

KUALA LUMPUR: To reduce dependency on commodities among the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers, Felda under the Felda 2.0 programme will transform all its land into "smart cities" by 2050.

The programme would be a game changer for Felda settlers as they can also venture into the tourism sector.

To realise this, Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said basic amenities and infrastructures would be upgraded.

"This includes providing a stable internet access for those living in rural areas," he said during a National Transformation 50 (TN50) dialogue session at Felda headquarters on Wednesday.

Shahrir further said the project would be first implemented at Lurah Bilut, Pahang.

"The project will be launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in January next year.

"An allocation of RM10 million was set for the Lurah Bilut project and we have plans to expand the project at another three regions... one project for one region. We aim to implement this in all regions depending on our resources and capabilities," he told reporters during a press conference after the dialogue.

Shahrir also said input gathered for the project were generated from the grassroots level.

"The project has an approach similar to TN50 with input to its development generated from the grassroots.

"For Felda 2.0, engagement is important. We are open and connected, everyone is invited to engage," he said.

Meanwhile moderator for the TN50 dialogue, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Felda 2.0 was the next chapter for Felda to diversify its economic activities.

"This is also an effort to bring Felda 2.0 into success as a module for Felda developments in future," he said adding that hopefully issues on lack of infrastructures and facilities in the rural areas would be solved by 2050.

During the dialogue session, a participant also suggested that Felda should venture into healthcare by establishing a Felda hospital to create job opportunities.

Most of the participants also hoped that the academic aspects and social issues of the Felda community would be addressed.

The dialogue attended by about 540 participants comprising Felda youth. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd