Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tee Yong: Focus on people’s concerns for the environs

Saturday July 23, 2011

GEORGE TOWN: MCA presidential council member Chua Tee Yong has urged the state government to seek the people’s views more often instead of adopting a self-righteous attitude.

Chua said the Pakatan Rakyat government should discard the mindset that “Komtar knows best” and reach out to the people for feedback and be sensitive to their concerns about the environment.

“When Barisan Nasional was the ruling party in Penang, the Opposition kicked up a big fuss that we were too focused on development. But now, Pakatan is the government and they seem to be more concerned about development projects than us, particularly in Batu Ferringhi and Balik Pulau.”

He said Pakatan should stop excessive development as it may endanger the ecology of the two pristine areas.

He said this at a dialogue with the farmers in Balik Pulau yesterday.

On the presence of illegal workers, Chua who is the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister, urged their employers to legalise them as the registration fees had been reduced.

He urged the farmers to explore the loan facility available at the AgroBank’s Fund which was set up to increase food production and to reduce its import bill.

“There is still about RM200mil of funds available for loans. The interest rate is only between 3.75% and 4% which is among the lowest in the market,” he said.

Chua also spoke about stabilising the prices of Malaysia’s king of fruits — durians.

“Since 2007, the prices of durians have been on an uptrend. However in 2009 and 2010 more collection centres were set up to act as a network where durians are brought and transported to areas with high demand. This has helped stabilise the prices of durians in the local market,” he said.

“There is also good response to the durian paste that is used for many food items because it retains the unique flavour of the durian while lowering the pungent smell, which is why, it is also popular overseas,” said Chua.

He later mingled with the farmers who were enjoying a variety of fruits such as durians, rambutans and mangosteens.

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