By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 9: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong demands the state government explain the rationale behind Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC)’s acquisition of a buffalo breeding station in Darwin, Australia, recently.
She questioned how much the state government spent on the endeavour and what the investment return would be for the state and its people.
“In my speech, I also queried whether Sarawakians can enjoy cheaper beef price from this investment,” Yong told reporters on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
Earlier, she posed a question on this investment to Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas during his winding-up speech.
She told the august House that the endeavour seemed fruitless as breeding Australian buffaloes to be brought to Sarawak would not be suitable for the animal.
“Sadly and disappointingly, Uggah was supposed to take up this issue and answer this topic in his winding-up speech today, but he evaded the issue raised until I stood up and questioned him.
“He was still evading and try not to answer the question,” Yong told reporters, adding that this investment should be clearly explained in the august House if it was a good investment and since the matter had been raised by lawmakers.
Yong quoted state Department of Veterinary Services director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud as saying that buffaloes or cows from Australia were not suited for Sarawak’s weather.
“He even claimed that the buffaloes from Australia are unmanageable, not easy to handle. He said (the buffaloes were) unmanageable and did not perform well under the local condition. Those were his words, I quote.
“That’s why I asked if these buffaloes and cows are so difficult to manage, are we going to foresee that our farmers in Limbang are going to chase the cows around the house? According to a statement, the buffaloes from Darwin were supposed to be bred there and brought back to Limbang for the farmers here, locally,” said Yong.
She urged the state government and Uggah to be more transparent about the investment as it involves taxpayers’ money.
“For every sen spent, we must be transparent and accountable. I also asked why the state government needed to bring out our state money to other countries. Can’t we just have the investment here?” Yong asked. — DayakDaily