Uggah clarifies on community leaders allowances

Extract from The Borneo Post, Jan 1, 2019

We hope netizens will be clear on the payment of allowance to our Ketua Kaum, covering the Tuai Rumah (longhouse chieftains), Ketua Kampung (village headmen) and Kapitan (Chinese community leaders).

The Federal government will be paying the allowances of RM500 per month from October to December 2018 via a letter issued by the federal Ministry of Rural Development on 5th December 2018.

The State Government will top up their allowances to RM900 per month. Hence, the allegation that the Pakatan Harapan Federal government paid 70% of their allowance is not true at the time this post is written.

As for the allowances of our Ketua Masyarakat, covering the Temenggong, Pemanca and Penghulu are paid fully by the Sarawak Government.

Miri City Council to find ways to keep maintenance works on protocol roads

The Miri City Council (MCC) would have to take alternative measures, should there be no federal funding for the Public Works Department (JKR) to carry out maintenance works on the protocol roads across this city next year.

Mayor Adam Yii stated this in response to the concern voiced out by councillors regarding the overgrowth along the protocol roads, particular at the junctions, which created ‘ blind spots’ that endangered motorists.

“We have been informed that there’s no budget for the months of November and December from the federal government, which means no budget for JKR to carry out maintenance works on these roads.

“Thus, there is a need for us to find out with JKR on its plans for such services next year. If there’s still no budget for next year, then the council would have to come forward to provide grass cutting at the ‘blind spots’ along the protocol roads,” he said when met after chairing a full council meeting yesterday.

In this matter, Yii had asked MCC Road Safety Sub-Committee – chaired by Councillor Karambir Singh – to set up a dialogue with JKR.

The mayor agreed with Councillor Abdullah Jaini, who had said that the unavailability of federal fund for JKR to carry out maintenance works on the protocol roads here had put MCC ‘in a difficult situation’.

“The overgrown grasses along the protocol roads are really an eyesore for our ‘ Resort City’,” said Yii, adding that it was ‘very frustrating’ to always have the council blamed for this, despite the maintenance and upkeep of the protocol roads being under the jurisdiction of JKR.

MACC urged to probe Chong’s allegations

In a related news published at The Borneo Post on 29th December 2018, a concern citizen has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Sarawak to look into a recent allegations made by the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen. Below is the news extract.

Source: The Borneo Post

Author: Shame on Baru Bian who is the Works Minister for failing to look into this matter and to continue allocating federal fund to maintain the federal roads in Sarawak.

Europe’s palm oil ban puts Malaysia’s smallholders at risk

Small farmers manage almost 40 per cent of Malaysia’s 5.81 million hectares of palm plantations, says Tiow. — AFP photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Palm oil production is important for the Malaysian economy – the country is known as the world’s second largest producer of this commodity after Indonesia.

For small farmers, this industry is a major source of income for them, in that it has helped eradicate poverty and enhance social mobility.

In this respect, the European Union (EU)’s intended ban on palm oil would affect the quality of lives of 650,000 small-holding farmers – reducing the incomes of those in the industry.

“We cannot keep silent and allow this to happen,” said Tiow Weng Theong, an advocate for Planters United – a non- governmental organisation (NGO) made up of a group of smallholder planters in Malaysia.

“Europe is the world’s second largest palm oil importer; thus, the EU ban under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) by 2030 would lead to a gloomy future for Malaysia’s palm oil exports as palm oil is a major feedstock for biofuels,” he said in a statement released yesterday.

It is believed that about onethird – or 600,000 tonnes – out of two million tonnes of Malaysian palm oil exported to the EU, is used for biofuel production.

Moreover, Malaysia supplies 212,000 tonnes of palm oil-based biodiesel to Europe.

Small farmers manage almost 40 per cent of Malaysia’s 5.81 million hectares of palm plantations. On average, a small farmer with 3.9 hectares of land can earn a monthly net income of RM2,000 to RM2,100.

These farmers are typically from the ‘Bottom 40 Per Cent’ ( B40) income- bracket of the population.

“Imagine if these small farmers were to lose their primary source of income because of the EU ban. Not only would this have a huge impact on the nation’s tax revenue and economic growth, it would also bring negative effects to their families.

“How are small farmers going to cope with the daily expenses of their families, their children’s education, and the worsening inflation rate?” argued Tiow, stressing the importance to uphold and safeguard ‘the lives of our Malaysian farmers’, and also ‘their rights to cultivate oil palms, obtain incomes and support their families’.

“Do not suppress the smallholding farmers – care for them and their families,” he stressed.

Source: The Borneo Post