LANGKAWI: The Prime Minister hopes to turn Langkawi into a major producer of pulut or glutinous rice.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Agriculture Department was in the process of identifying areas suitable for growing glutinous rice, separate from the traditional padi fields.
“If successful, it (the project) will be able to generate a good income for Langkawi residents and make the island a producer of glutinous rice.
“This is our hope because I believe the price of glutinous rice is higher than the price of ordinary rice.
“As such, farmers can increase their income if they plant glutinous rice,” Dr Mahathir told a press conference after handing out Kasih Ibu Darul Aman (Kida) Langkawi cards to 48 recipients at the Civil Defence Complex here yesterday.
Also present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Juhari Bulat and Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, the state assemblymen for Ayer Hangat and Kuah respectively.
Dr Mahathir, who is the Langkawi MP, also suggested that residents on the island grow vegetables because of the high demand.
“There are many hotels in Langkawi. They are forced to import from the mainland or other countries. This is detrimental to us.
“If Langkawi residents are diligent in cultivating vegetables, it will generate a much higher income.
“We will introduce vegetable cultivation in stages. It will be a good source of income for those willing to work hard,” Dr Mahathir said.
Commenting on the Kida card, the Prime Minister said card holders could seek treatment at four clinics and obtain essential items at five stores registered under the programme.
“We care about the problems of the people, especially those who are weak (ill) and with low incomes.
“We are ready to help but hope the assistance will be temporary because in Malaysia, we like to see independent people who don’t rely on the government.” — Bernama