By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Aug 25: Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin wants to see Sarawak pepper served on all dining tables in Malaysia’s hotels.
She said it would not make sense if local hotels were to use pepper made from other countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia when Malaysia has its own producer of pepper which is Sarawak.
“I would like to see one day that all the hotels, especially the first-class hotels in Malaysia, serving our Sarawak pepper on their dining tables. That should be our target.
“Because if we ourselves, a producer of pepper, are using other countries’ pepper, I think that will not do good for us,” she said in her speech when officiating at the Saraspice relaunching ceremony at Icom Square here today.
Saraspice Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary company under the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) that manages the trading of Sarawak pepper.
Zuraidi, later in a press conference at the same venue, said she would like to see the realisation of bringing Sarawak pepper onto local dining tables once Saraspice stabilises in its sales.
She also mentioned that MPB is now looking into diversifying the pepper product line, which now only sells black and white pepper, in the form of both grounded and berries varieties.
“At the moment, our product line is a little bit too limited. We want to have some pepper-based products like Sarawak laksa because it uses pepper. Now, it is the responsibility of MPB to diversify the products,” she added.
Among those also present were Zuraida’s deputy Datuk Willie Mongin, Deputy Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, and Saraspice Sdn Bhd chairman Voon Shiak Ni. — DayakDaily