RM1mil grant for state ex-servicemen association

Uggah presenting the PSSB to Shearack Sabeli, witnessed by Roland (left) and Sazali and Mundaw(right).

KUCHING, Aug 25:  The Sarawak government has announced a grant of RM1 million for the state ex-servicemen association (Persatuan Veteran ATM) to finance its various activities and commitment including those of its branches statewide.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the grant was in appreciation of the contributions, dedication and sacrifices made by these former heroes.

“It is due to them that we are now enjoying such great peace which has led to our prosperity and success.

“You all had face live bullets in the defence of our state and nation.  Sarawak in particular, will continue to remember and appreciate such act of heroism and loyalty,” said Uggah when addressing Sarawak Ex-Servicemen Association Dinner last night.

Present were the deputy president of the national  association Mej Dato Sazali Ismail, his state counterpart Roland Demong Radin and the chief of Sarawak Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force Lt-Jen (R) Datuk Stephen Mundaw.

Uggah said the association and its branches statewide could always bring their problems and issues to the attention of the state government.

“You can communicate with Mundaw who can bring your problems like housing, the lack of regular income and other issues to us.  He can be your bridge to the state government.”

On improving their livelihood, Uggah who is also the Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development suggested they took up modern precision farming.

“Our state is in the mist of transforming our agriculture into a modern, progressive and income-generating sector.  Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants Sarawak to be a fruit, vegetable and meat producing and exporting state by 2030.

“Many programmes, assistance and plans are being implemented in furtherance of this objective,” said Uggah.

Uggah added the government too had planned to set up more agro-parks statewide to help those interested but who did not have the land.

“There are now tremendous opportunities in the sector with ever-increasing demands.  Countries like Singapore wants more and more of our live pigs and fruits, fish and vegetable while China wants endless supplies of Durian,” he said.

Uggah said the association could talk to farmers’ organisations or the Agriculture Department to find out suitable courses and programmes for its members.

“We are ready to work with all of you.  We prefer to give you fishing hook and rod so that you stand on your own feet and fish for yourself instead of the government giving you fish all the time” he said.— DayakDaily