Tuesday, April 26, 2011
LAHAD DATU, Sabah, 11 April 2011:
FELDA is leaping another step into a new milestone, expanding its operation into deep sea Tuna fishing, apart from the traditional land development operations since yesteryears.
Felda recently announced that deep sea tuna fishing in Sabah will take off soon.
Felda or the Federal Land Development Authority is expected to play a big role in the maritime industry of which Sabah is well known for its rich diversity and sources.
Felda Director-General, Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Wahab said the agency was looking beyond its core business of oil palm, in order to provide more economic opportunities for the children of Felda settlers.
“We want to tap the huge potential that Sabah seas have to offer, in particular for the new generation,” he said at the inaugural graduation ceremony of Felda settler children of BEST International College at Kolej Integrasi Ilmu, Felda Sahabat, Sabah on Sunday 10th April 2011.
“Felda has an agreement with Pembangunan Samudera ( Sabah ) Sdn Bhd, a Sabah-based private sector corporation, for the deep sea tuna venture, and it is about time to put into effect, our plans to create further economic growth in the area.”
He reckoned the new generation (children of early settlers) needed to benefit from other economic opportunities, apart from oil palm, so that they too could have a better future in life.
Dato’ Dzulkifli said Felda’s foray into human capital development in Sabah – in particular the maritime and hospitality sectors, was to train the settler children in new areas of economic opportunities.
“The waters off Lahad Datu for example are teeming with rich marine resources and it is only right to train our youths in the maritime sector as we need skilled workers to make our maritime ventures a success.
“Similarly, the tourism industry in Sabah is booming, and this sector needs more and more well-trained workers,” he added.
Commenting on the new graduates, Dato’ Dzulkifli said Felda would seriously consider providing scholarships to those who excel to further their studies overseas.
He said Felda has an annual allocation of RM50 million for education and skills development nationwide, and each year there are some 5,000 school-leavers completing their Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia from all Felda schemes.
On another note, Dato’Dzulkifli said Felda would also be involved in a seaweed cultivation project in Semporna as part of a poverty eradication programme with the hardcore poor there.
He said the project would lift off once various matters, including land ownership, is finalized.
Meanwhile, PSSSB Chief Executive Officer, Encik Kamarul Baharin Osman, said the company would be able to start the tuna venture within six months of getting the green light from Felda.
“The facilities that are required to process and store the marine resources that we catch, apart from tuna, are all available and can be put up and be running within six months,” he added.
All the best FELDA...