The allocation of more than RM5 billion to Sabah in the Budget 2019 is very attractive to the interior of the state but they are still waiting for the allocation to be distributed.
They are still wondering if they will be in favor of their interests, especially the basic infrastructure they need most, such as clean water supply, road network, electricity supply and daily necessities.
“But Sabah needs to see the details. We need to know whether the numbers are more favorable to the people, especially to address road traffic problems, clean water supply, agricultural development and broadband access to rural people.
“For example, an allocation of RM50 million to reduce the burden of rubber smallholders the impact of the drop in rubber prices is very small,” said Prof. Adjung (National Agriculture Advisor) Advisor Yap Yun Fook.
Yap said the allocation for that purpose (the impact of the fall in rubber prices) was not sufficient to address the people’s grievances over the problem of falling prices for rubber daily.
The Permanent Secretary of the Sabah Native Association (Indigenous) Association, Rosanna Edeza, said the allocation of RM30 million to assist smallholders to secure Malaysia’s sustainable palm oil certification (MSPO) was inadequate when many growers were interested in engaging in the oil palm plantation sector.
Member of the Supreme Committee of the Association of Smallholders Inland Sabah Ekok Amin said that the larger allocation should be given to address the impact of falling prices of rubber and palm oil on the people.
Hence, Ekok said the RM5 billion allocation for Sabah should be partly distributed to find a more effective method of addressing the fall in commodity prices of rubber and palm.
Another member of the association’s committee, Aneh Dalusim, said the interior of Keningau was dominated by rubber and palm oil factories and they relied heavily on the commodity for survival.
But he said looking at the price of rubber and palm today, it gives the impression that the future of the small-scale commodity does not guarantee their future.
We hope the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will be led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to re-evaluate the distribution of the allocation, taking into account the fate of smallholders, especially in the interior of Keningau.