Take advantage of assistance, Yahya urges fishermen
Fishermen in Sabah should capitalise on the various assistance such as funds and subsidies provided by the Government to help them improve their livelihood, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin. He said many of the fishermen in the State are stifi living in poverty and left out in the mainstream of development in the fishing sector. The Government, he added, had provided various assistance such as loans and subsidies for the fishing community, especially traditional fishermen. “Like people from the other sectors, the Government also want our fishermen to progress economically and come out from the poverty,” Yahya, who is also the Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said when opening the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the State Fishermen’s Association (Pengasah) here yesterday. Some 10 regional fishermen’s associations from across the State have joined Pengasah, namely Kuala Penyu, Kota Belud, Semporna, Sandakan, Labuan, Papar Tuaran, Teluk Padas, Tawau and Marudu/Pitas with 5,610 members. Another four regional fishermen’s associations from Kudat, Beluran and Kota Kinabalu have not joined the umbrella body yet. In ensuring that none of the fishermen in Sabah are still lagging behind, Yahya advised Pengasih to take the initiative of coming up with a record on the income of every member. He said such record is useful in determining the level of poverty among the fishermen, apart from making it easier for the Government to provide the assistance to them. “It is also important for fishermen to grab opportunities available in the small and medium industries, seafood business, boat repair and maintenance workshop and other related business,” said Yahya.