TUMPAT – The government is always sensitive and committed in efforts to ensure the welfare of fishermen so that they can come out of the poverty level said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, here Sunday.
“We rely on the fishermen to provide us with the food we need and this is why the government will continue to find ways to assist them, especially small scale fishermen.
“Assistance provided for small-scale fishermen were fish landing incentives, RM200 monthly assistance, fishing equipment, fuel subsidy and other allowances,” he said when speaking at a session with fishermen and later presenting cost of living allowances to fishermen at Maktab Rendah Sains Mara, here today.
Also present were Agriculture and Agro Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Pengkalan Kubor’s Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mat Razi Mat Ail and about 500 fishermen.
Muhyiddin said last year fishermen in Pengkalan Kubor had received assistance worth RM44.7 million through 419,000 litres of subsidised fuel while 400 fishermen had also received cost of living allowances worth RM1.53 million. He said through the Azam Tani project, the federal government had allocated RM1.25 million to 125 fishermen, aimed at helping them to produce products from the sea.
“Houses of 265 fishermen were also repaired at a cost of RM2.5 million,” he said adding that the farmers and fishermen appreciated the efforts and initiatives of the government although some had labelled such assistance as illegal (haram).
Muhyiddin said the efforts of the government to help the poor was indeed a part of the teachings professed by Islam, which is to help the poor.
“What the BN government is doing is to ease the burden of the poor and help them move out of the poverty level. It has nothing to do with political alignment. I just want to ask the people, what has PAS done to help the fishermen,” he said.
“The people need to support BN to ensure the government continues to carry out development that has been planned here. We will build new jetties here. If BN makes 10 promises, we will fulfill all 10 promises and I guarantee that.” The people should not be influenced by the accusations by PAS over issues related to the petroleum royalty. The Pengkalan Kubor by-election will be a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Mat Razi, Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim of PAS and independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary.
It is being held following the death of BN’s three-term assemblyman Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar on Aug 20, due to cancer.
Noor Zahidi had retained the seat in the general election held last year with a majority of 1,736 votes, beating Saharun Ibrahim of PKR and Izat Bukhary. – BERNAMA