A few days ago, 500 swiftlet nest famers led by Sekinchan [DAP] Adun Ng Suee Lee State sent a memorandum to Agriculture and Agro Based Industry Minister Nor Omar to protest the mishandling of the problems facing their industry.
The protest, in front of Nor Omar service centre at Tanjung Karang, was mainly because of the new requirements imposed by Malaysia on the exportation of bird’s nest including the requirement for radio frequency identification (RFID) system on the bird’s nest farms.
The farmers’ requests to loosen the requirements are not unreasonable and the government must do more to facilitate the export to our major marker, China.
China has already uplifted the requirement to install RFID. It only requires an ordinary electronic identification system which is much cheaper than RFID to be installed by the farmers.
Nor Omar immediately rejected the requests as he said the issue has been politicised. Such arrogance is unwarranted. It appears the Ministry has no intention and sincerity to resolve the matter.
I want the Agriculture and Agro Based Industry Ministry to immediately look into the difficulties faced by the farmers and investigate the allegations stated in the memorandum namely that there is a conspiracy between the officials in the said Ministry and certain bird’s nest traders.
I also want to take to task the Deputy Minister Chua Tee Yong who appears unsympathetic and unwilling to help even though this issue was brought to his attention many months ago. Chua should spend more time to help his boss resolve the problems facing swiftlet farmers instead of spending obscene number of weeks acting as the de facto opposition leader in Selangor.
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