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Govt launches emergency fund for fisherfolk

KUALA TERENGGANU, 16 Jan 2009: The government today announced the setting up of the Fishermen’s Emergency Fund with a launching capital of RM1 million to help fishermen and their families struck by misfortune.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, in disclosing this, said fisherfolk took great risks when they went out to sea to fish, having to put up with inclement weather and rough seas which could cause their boats to capsize and they themselves to drown.

On land, there was a possibility of their houses being destroyed or damaged by fires and so on, he told reporters after a meeting with fisherfolk at the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) port in Chendering, here.

“With such risks, it is most appropriate that a fund is set up to assist them, with a launching capital of RM1 million,” he said.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed was also present at the meeting with the fishermen.

When addressing the fishing community earlier, Najib said the government greatly appreciated the role of the more than 70,000 fisherfolk in the country, 6,000 of whom are in Terengganu.

He said the government had implemented and was carrying out various measures in the interests of fisherfolk, including providing a RM200 monthly cost-of-living allowance, a diesel subsidy and a fish-landing incentive.

“We will add on the aid to fisherfolk. The state government is also providing all kinds of assistance. We are considering what else to give them,” he said.

Najib said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government looked after the welfare of the people for the long term and not for short periods.

“We do not think merely of victory in the elections. We think of how to take care of the future generations. That’s how the BN works,” he said. — Bernama


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