Photo of papa (in Bermuda shorts) during his stint as Acting State Development Officer on his rounds in Pahang just before he joined FLDA in 1966.

{The idea behind regional development such as the Jengka Triangle and the Johore Tenggara developments were to take advantage of the economies of scale. They presented cost, time and management opportunities and enabled FLDA to increase the rate of land development exponentially.

In the regional development model, there were semi-urban spots or centres created for the provision of services such as health clinics, schools and some smaller commercial activities. It was at this time that FLDA’s role was reshaped into autonomous land development functions (see Baharin and Perera, 1977).}

When I joined FLDA, we had just appointed the consultants for the Jengka Triangle. I jumped in head-first into this massive scale development effort. It was supposed to encompass 60,000 hectares and settle 85,000 people in schemes with general employment in 3 proposed regional towns for an additional 20,000. The idea was for it to become fully operational by 1985.

The idea to develop on the basis of a fully-integrated approach (ie development of villages and agricultural plantations, selection and emplacement of settlers, management of projects, marketing services, downstream activities and facilitating social and community development) became fully functional under the First Malaysia Plan and FLDA was the primary agency to implement this. FLDA extended the integrated area development model to virgin jungles to carve out viable agricultural communities for the settlers.

After the Jengka Triangle came the Johore Tenggara Regional Master Plan (1971) covering 280,000 hectares, then the Pahang Tenggara Master Plan (1972) with 1 million hectares and finally the Sahabat Complex in Sabah (1979).