‘MINISTRY WILL SERVE ALL RACES’
Minister does not want the ‘Malays only’ perception to continue
THE Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry wants to change the perception that it is for Malays only. Its minister, Salahuddin Ayub, said the ministry wanted to have the participation of all races in the various sectors under its purview.
“I don’t want the perception to continue. I will work hard to give my service to everybody, including other races. Let them view the ministry as a ministry for all Malaysians,” he said after attending a gathering and receiving Parti Amanah Negara membership application forms from 150 members of the Chinese community in Taman Seri Kasih here on Thursday.
“In the rural areas, there are many Malays in the farming and fishery sectors. But there are also many non-Malays in other agricultural sectors, like fruit and vegetable farming, livestock farming, deep-sea fishing and the bird’s nest industry.
“These industries are dominated by non-Malays. We have to be smart and turn them into assets or stakeholders that can become the main focus in making the ministry’s mission successful.”
He said the ministry would continue to provide aid and incentives to farmers and fishermen, but it also wanted them to improve their capability.
“We must give them ‘fishing rods’, not just fish all the time.
“These incentives need to be strengthened with training and technology so that they are not focused on only one thing.
“For example, when fishermen are not going out to sea, they can grow pineapples and vegetables using the fertigation method.
“This is one of the ways to empower this group, which is poor. They can move from using traditional methods to modern ones, even if it is done on a small scale.”
“Subsidies are given even in developed countries, especially in the food security sector. But we want this to result in farmers becoming millionaires. We can do this by complementing the subsidies with training to improve the farmers’ standard of living.
“If we don’t do this, they will become stagnant. We want the sector to be dynamic and maximise its potential in line with the country’s long-term agro-food policy, which ends in 2020.
“We will conduct a study to ensure that the sector continues to be empowered.”