Bird’s nest entrepreneurs want govt to protect new players

SANDAKAN: The Sabah Bird’s Nest Industry Association (SABA) has agreed with the 15 guidelines issued by the government to control swiftlet farming in Sabah, but it wants the government to protect new entrepreneurs in the industry.

Its chairman, Datu Faisal Datu Bachtiyal, said the guidelines seemed to be a burden to the Bumiputera community while the Transformation Economy spearheaded by the prime minister, encourages Bumiputeras’ involvement in businesses, especially in the bird’s nest industry.

He added that there was a need for an immediate meeting with fellow industry entrepreneurs to devise a mechanism and direction to provide a chance for entrepreneurs who are at the risk of breaching the guidelines come 2013, and to redeem their situation.

According to Faisal, the swiftlet houses erected by SABA through their consultant Syarikat Gerak Borneo Sdn Bhd need to
adhere to the guidelines because they know a new aspect of legislation will be introduced later.

“We agree with the guidelines but at the same time the government should provide protection or a defence to Bumiputera entrepreneurs who are currently undertaking swiftlet farming in the state,” he said.

“As businessmen, we need full cooperation from the government. Thus, a meeting needs to be held immediately between entrepreneurs and the government to think of a mechanism and the best method to reach a common ground,” said Faisal.

He added that the issuance of the guidelines was insufficient for entrepreneurs to continue their business.

“Opportunities are needed to propel local business owners to the international level,” Faisal said this in response to the guidelines for swiftlet farming that will take effect January 1, next year which prohibit swiftlet farming close to cities and towns or within a city and town area.

The government directive is part of the 15 guidelines that were enforced to control swiftlet farming.

Among the other guidelines include necessary steps for establishing a swiftlet farming business and advice on complying with the rules and regulations of swiftlet farming.

In another development, Faisal will lead a delegation to Brunei Darussalam today (Friday) to discuss bilateral cooperation between SABA (through Gerak Borneo’s consultancy) and entrepreneurs in the country.

“We met up with several businessmen from Brunei in Kota Kinabalu recently and they’ve expressed strong interest, thus inviting us to Brunei to share our skills and expertise involving swiftlet management,” said Faisal.

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