BINTULU: Local fishermen have been advised to save the RM200 monthly allowance given by the federal government for their retirement years.
Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) state director Razaili Gapor said recipients of the allowance should know that there will be a time when they will be too old to go out to sea, which is when their savings will come in
“If all this while you find it hard to save a portion of the money you make from your catch, this allowance is your best chance to begin saving,” Razaili said to 485 fishermen who came to receive their allowance at a presentation ceremony yesterday.
The fishermen, who are members of the Bintulu Area Fishermen’s Associa-tion, received a total of RM97,000 from Senator Pau Chiong Ung.
According to Razaili, the RM200 monthly allowance had been made available to fishermen since June 2008 to help them tide over the economic crisis.
He said as of June 2008 until Dec 2009 the government had allocated RM22.118 million for fishermen in the state while for Bintulu alone the government had set aside RM1,542,000.
The government spent around RM14 million per month on 70,000 fishermen in the country, said Razaili.
He said the government also allocated RM7 million of the ‘10 sen catch incentive for every 1kg’ to fishermen in the state, of which RM2.2 million went to fishermen in Bintulu.
He said if calculated from the beginning of the allowance payment up to now, which is an 18-month period, each fishermen would have RM3,600 in the bank, an amount he described as ‘healthy’.
Razaili said another way the government was helping fishermen was giving those with C2 vessels for deep sea fishing a monthly allowance of RM2,500.
Also present at the function were Deputy Resident (Development) Sirai Daha and District Officer Tuah Suni.