Rice Bank proposed to help padi farmers develop lands
The Government should consider setting up a ‘rice bank’ to assist padi farmers in the Country to develop their lands, Yayasan Bumiputra Sabah Chief Executive Officer Fredie Sua said. Fredie in making the proposal, said the Rice Bank can also act as a ‘buyer of last resort’ in order to stabilize the price of the commodity which is always being manipulated by the manufacturers. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop on Sunday, Fredie said he had forwarded his proposal to the Minister. “I also proposed to the Second Finance Minister for the Government to consider abolishing the sales tax imposed on private projects, especially housing projects. This will help control the increase in the price of building materials such as Steel and heavy machineries,” he said. Fredie added the abolition of the sales tax would mean that real estate developers need not increase the price of houses. He also suggested that the Government give opportunity to Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah to be allowed to conduct businesses that need special licences such as ‘supply base’ which is only available in Labuan and Kemanan in Terengganu. “The oil and gas industry in Sabah is expanding rapidly and we urge the Government to consider allowing the Bumiputera entrepreneurs to be given an opportunity to be part of the action,” he said. Among those who attended the meeting were Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Titingan, Kadazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Frederick Lojingki and Yayasan Bumiputera Sabah Chairman Datuk Amir Kahar. Meanwhile, KCCI President Frederick Lojingki urged the Government to provide more opportunities for the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) to participate in the development of the Country and State. Frederick told Mohamed that it is difficult for the KDM contractors to get contracts for Government projects and hoped that they will be given more opportunities in the future.