TELUK INTAN – The opposition should not accuse the government of not being concerned about the plight of some farmers, to the extent of causing a decline in their output.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said such accusation by Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was merely political rhetoric in view of the coming general election.
“The way the Selangor MB was raising (the issue) was as though we were not helping the farmers and this was a baseless accusation,” he told a press conference after the pre-launch of the Gelombang Tani Nasional (GTN) 2017 programme in Kampung Sungai Batu, Sungai Manik, here, today.
Tajuddin was commenting on Mohamed Azmin’s recent statement, allegedly blaming the federal government for not helping the padi farmers in Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor districts whose padi plants were affected by the bacterial leaf blight (BLB) disease during the second planting season last year.
He viewed the menteri besar’s quick action of giving financial assistance to the affected farmers as an opportunistic move, because the federal government through the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry was already at that time planning to implement a scheme to assist the farmers.
“(We are) not like PKR, giving assistance seasonally, more so with the general election nearing, they will come up with various schemes to gain political mileage,” Tajuddin said.
All this while, he said, the government under the Barisan Nasional leadership had allocated hundreds of billions of ringgit since the First Malaysia Plan until now to develop human capital, infrastructure and farmers’ capacity, and on subsidies and incentives covering the agriculture, livestock farming and fishery sectors.
“We do not just play politics, and the results can be seen from the high number of farmers coming out of the poverty group. This is our jihad (struggle), not just for one or two years, but it is the government’s continuous policy and commitment,” he said. – BERNAMA