JULAU, July 11 (Bernama) — The payment from the government to rubber smallholders and rubber tappers should not be considered as compensation but special assistance.
It was to help them tide over the current slump in the market price of the commodity, Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said.
He said the government had set aside more than RM200 million for the purpose nationwide.
Speaking at a meet-the-people session at Rh Jelian Laja in Nanga Matop near here Thursday night, he described the gesture as another sign that the Barisan Nasional government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was always very caring and sympathetic to the plight of the rural folks, besides being inclusive.
The assistance too, he said, was also an appreciation for their efforts in contributing to and strengthening the economy.
The 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council chairman Datuk Joseph Salang, who is also Julau member of parliament was among those present.
Meanwhile, Alexander advised smallholders and tappers in the state to register themselves with the Modernisation of Agriculture Ministry to qualify for the assistance.
He said those who failed to get the RM500 aid need not despair as there were other forms of assistance provided by the government.
On the formation of the Longhouse Development and Security Committee, he said it was for effective and just distribution of government development grants to the target groups.
“Formerly, middlemen tend to benefit more when they were entrusted to implement any development projects,” he said.