SMALLHOLDERS in Perak should employ their own relatives or children to tap rubber, instead of hiring Thai nationals.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Ta-jol Rosli Ghazali said many smallholders in upper Perak, especially Kota Tampan and Pengkalan Hulu, relied on Thai wor-kers to work in their estates.
Employing the foreigners would cause an outflow of Malaysian currency, he said.
“Foreigners could also create social problems by putting up shacks indiscri-minately.
“They build houses here and there and later demand housing by claiming to be squatters,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after handing out dividends to 500 Risda smallholders and participants of commercial replanting schemes in Perak re-cently.
Tajol Rosli, however, declined to comment on the number of such foreigners employed in the state.
“Just as we find it easy to get into Thailand, it is very easy for them to enter our country using border passes,” Tajol Rosli said.
Smallholders, he said, should teach their children to tap rubber instead of re-lying on the foreigners.
The foreign rubber tappers earn about RM3,000 per month, he said.
“It would be better if we could let our children earn that money,” he said.
Tajol Rosli also urged smallholders to use their dividends wisely by putting them aside for their children’s education.
“Only through a university education can our children be assured of a secure and promising future.
“We cannot count on our inheritance.
“We might be able to reap RM5,000 a month from the 10 acres of rubber estate but that is nothing when divided among five children,” he added.