On Saturday (14 May), Sarawak’s Minister of Agriculture Modernisation and Regional Development Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom told farmers and fishermen to change their mentality of relying too much on the government.
According to Bernama, he said assistance or incentive are more appropriate for those who are just entering or starting a career in agriculture.
“If they continue to rely on subsidies, they will forever be dependent on assistance. That should not be the way forward for us.”
“Initially, I had thought that we should provide assistance, but it cannot be forever whether you are a farmer or a fisherman,” he said.
Rundi then said that fishermen in the state will not be able to go to the sea for a few months in a year because of the monsoon season. Thus, they had to be prepared for that by thinking of other source of income during the period.
“If assistance is to be given, we have to find ways and means to make sure how the assistance can be effective,” he added.
However, his remarks did not go well with netizens as they reminded Rundi that he was drawing his salary from taxpayers’ money.
“Ministers should not depend on allowances, give them only basic salary without allowances. Some have their allowances larger than their salary.” an angry netizen commented.
“If you do not provide subsidies, we will not pay taxes.” another netizen said.
On contrary, some supported the move and said that people should learn to be independent. “Yes, that is the right way to live one’s life. The government should give free courses and assistance to the farmer and fishermen.”
“Build good jetties for the fishermen and provide land for farmers and lend boats and tools for the farmers, to be returned or payback by instalment. Teach the fishermen how to fish and teach the farmers how to grow and the men will live and prosper.” the netizen said.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!