KOTA KINABALU: Prices of pork remained high in the state despite promises to bring it down through assistance for farmers, says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) vice-president Gee Tien Siong.
He said Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Chan Foong Hin has been pledging to solve the problem of rising pork prices, but so far, nothing solid is seen.
“It has been nearly half a year so far, where we can see only a ‘one-man task force’ was established, and the members were not even determined,” said Gee in a statement Sunday (April 2).
Gee said prior to Chinese New Year this year, the ministry approved pork imports to meet market demand, but it was unable to bring down the price of pork.
"Recently, Chan distributed some RM4mil aid fund approved by the previous government to 26 pig farmers in Melaka, who were affected by swine flu, however, pig farmers in Sabah who faced the same problem did not get any," he said.
Gee said Chan, as Kota Kinabalu MP and a deputy minister, must fight for the welfare and assistance for Sabah farmers within the Federal Government, so that Sabah's food security can be guaranteed.
"If farmers in Sabah do not receive assistance, they will lose market competitiveness and their farms may be closed down.
“In the end, Sabah can only rely on imports, including sources from the peninsula or Sarawak. The price of pork will be completely at the mercy of others.
"Therefore, approval on pork imports is definitely a bad policy," he said.
Gee said not only pig farmers, but local chicken and egg farmers are facing the “high cost” problem.
“The Federal Government must take long-term measures,” he added.