MFA hopes fed­eral govt to main­tain fuel sub­sidy for Miri fish­er­men

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

MIRI: The lo­cal fish­ing com­mu­nity wants the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to con­tinue fuel sub­sidy for them.

Miri Fish­er­men As­so­ci­a­tion ( MFA) chair­man Musa Bu­jang be­lieved that if the sub­sidy for both petrol and diesel for Class A fish­er­men here are dis­con­tin­ued, fish­er­men would have to fork up more money to buy fuel from the petrol kiosk, at re­tail prices – which could be be­tween 20 and 30 per cent higher than sub­sidised prices; leav­ing them with no choice but to sell their catch at higher prices.

“It is im­por­tant that the fuel sub­sidy be main­tained so that fish­er­men could con­tinue fish­ing and the prices of fish at the mar­ket would not in­crease,” he told The Bor­neo Post yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Musa, the ma­jor­ity of over 1,000 reg­is­tered fish­er­men here are un­der Class A – those us­ing long­boats and ‘sam­pan’ (tra­di­tional boats) would be af­fected should the present fuel sub­sidy be dis­con­tin­ued by the present fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

He gave a sce­nario to il­lus­trate the sit­u­a­tion should the sub­sidy be re­voked – at present, the sub­sidised price for 45 litres of petrol is around RM70; with­out the sub­sidy, the same vol­ume of fuel would cost nearly RM100, which is a big dif­fer­ence for the lo­cal fish­ing com­mu­nity, many of whom are from poor house­holds.

In re­la­tion to fish price, he said a kilo­gramme of ‘ ikan jarang gigi’ – the lo­cal golden snap­per, which is among the most com­mon catch here – would nor­mally cost around RM12, but with the sub­sidy re­voked, that same weight of catch could reach RM15.

“The con­sumers would feel the ef­fect from the price hike,” added Musa.

Ad­di­tion­ally, he also ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment to con­tinue pro­vid­ing the monthly cost of liv­ing al­lowance (Cola) to reg­is­tered fish­er­men here as it as is of vi­tal as­sis­tance.

Ac­cord­ing to him, over 300 MFA-reg­is­tered fish­er­men are re­ceiv­ing Cola al­lowance.

It is re­ported that be­gin­ning this month, the gov­ern­ment through the rel­e­vant min­istry would con­duct thor­ough screen­ing of ex­ist­ing re­cip­i­ents and new ap­pli­cants to de­ter­mine their el­i­gi­bil­ity for Cola.

It is also learnt that MFAreg­is­tered fish­er­men are those from Kuala Baram, Batu Satu Lu­tong, Pi­asau Utara Miri, Kam­pung Pu­lau Me­layu, Bakam, Ber­aya, Tu­san, Peliau, Bun­gai, Kuala Sibuti and Niah.

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