Julau MP on helping pepper farmers, saving schools’ electricity cost

Larry Sng

KUCHING, July 24: Julau MP Larry Sng has suggested to the Ministry of Primary Industries to allocate RM30 million for the next two years to stabilise pepper prices to help pepper farmers.

He said the allocation may be channelled to the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) to subsidise pepper prices when it dips below RM12,000 per metric tonne.

“When the pepper price goes below RM12,000 per metric tonne, MPB may use the allocation to make up the difference between the market price and the benchmark price.

“When the pepper price goes above, then there is no need for subsidy. This way, the government will be able to help pepper farmers by reducing the impact of low prices of primary commodities, such as pepper,” Sng told DayakDaily.

He said this was one of the suggestions he made when debating the royal address yesterday.

The other suggestion he made concerned electricity supply for rural schools in Julau.

“The government has allocated RM20,000 for fuel usage for each rural school that depends on generator set each month. This allocation, however, does not include maintenance and wage for the operator.

“Previously, RM50,000 was allocated to the contractor per month per school,” said Sng.

He explained that in his constituency, there were 37 schools, and five were already connected to the grid. The rest still depend on generator sets.

For the five schools that are already connected to the grid, he said each school paid about RM500 per month for electricity usage.

He opined that if the government were to approve for another 22 schools to be connected to the grid, it would cost about RM4 million as the cost for each school was about RM200,000 only.

“In the long term of five years, the government may be able to save as much as RM60 million,” claimed Sng. — DayakDaily