KUCHING, 30 Nov 2008: Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Rohani Karim today urged the country’s 70,000 fisherfolk to ignore the DAP’s plan to hold a strike in the middle of next month.
She said the DAP wanted to act as champion for the fisherfolk when all this while they had not helped or developed the country’s fishing industry.
“We wish to remind the (fisherfolk) not to be involved in the strike planned for December 12 and if they do, the government will not hesitate to act by withdrawing all the privileges and subsidies given to them,” she told Bernama here today.
Rohani said recently, DAP Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen, proposed a motion to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker on the party’s four requests. They were to reduce the subsidised fuel price to RM1 from RM1.43, to ensure the fisherfolk get their monthly RM200 cost of living allowance (Cola) as many had not received it, to check encroachment by foreign fisherfolk, and to open Zone A and Zone B of the fishing area to foreign fisherfolk.
However, the motion was rejected by the Speaker before it could be tabled.
Rohani said the Barisan Nasional government had given the country’s fisherfolk special privileges such as RM200 in Cola, petrol and diesel subsidies, and 10 sen incentive payment for each kilogramme of catch.
“The (fisherfolk) in other countries may not be able to enjoy such incentives,” she said, adding that those who had not received the assistance were small in number.
She urged those who have not received government incentives to be patient because for some applications, the approval process might take time. — Bernama