KUCHING: The fishermen cost of living allowance will be continued as usual but one-off assistance from unknown sources will be stopped with immediate effect, revealed Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Salahuddin Ayub.
Speaking to reporters after touring the new and modern Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) Tanjung Bako Fishery complex here yesterday, Salahuddin stressed that the government is committed to assisting the fishing communities but will not indulge in illegal financial activities.
“The living cost allowance will be continued but there will be some adjustment in the way we distribute,” he said without elaborating.
Salahuddin also said that the federal government and Sarawak government would work closely together to tackle the issues surrounding deep sea fishing.
“The issue of deep sea fishing is an ongoing process, the matter was discussed by both parties, Federal government and Sarawak government, it will be resolved. That was discussed with Sarawak government (Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister) just now and our officers will continue to discuss it and I think we will be able to make our decision to solve the deep sea fishing issues,” he stressed.
Salahuddin also insisted that his ministry’s main struggle is to uplift the living standard and income level of local fishermen while protecting their interest in facing the threat brought by encroachment by both local and foreign vessels.
“The encroachment by both local and foreign fishermen, we will leave to the law enforcers to deal with. We will focus on equipping our fishermen and will not be slacking in distributing aid and what is important is to make sure that our fishermen are getting the benefits from all of our help and incentives,” he assured.
Sited on 42.5 acres of land, the RM247.8 million LKIM Tanjung Bako Fishery Complex boasts some of the most modern facilities for fish processing in the nation.
The first phase consists of buildings for marketing hall, administrative block, net loft, fish box storage, canteen (two blocks), fishermen market, multipurpose hall, surau and fuel farm as well as jetties for fishermen to land their catch and berthing facilities.
Also present were Sarawak Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based secretary-general Dato’ Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan.