Price Disparity Over FFB Raises Concerns; Warisan Plan More Jobs

Several hundred people attended the Silam CNY lunch gathering in Lahad Datu on Sunday.

LAHAD DATU: Parti Warisan Sabah has questioned the price disparity of oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) in Sabah and Peninsula with the latter enjoying a higher rate of RM565 per tonne (as of 28 Feb 2018) which is RM68 per tonne more than in the state.

Its president Shafie Apdal said a Warisan government will rectify the inequality so that the price of FFB in Sabah is the same as in Peninsula.

“Oil palm in Sabah has an oil extraction rate of 20% just like in Semenanjung but in Sabah it is categorised as Grade C and in Peninsula, it is Grade A. What is the difference?” he asked when addressing the crowd at the Warisan Chinese New Year celebration here on Sunday.

Shafie at the function.

When speaking about Lahad Datu, he pointed out that the district had ample room for growth and yet industries are lacking which force job-seeking youths to go elsewhere in search of employment.

“There used to be plenty of timber from the forests in this region, but the forests are now almost bald.

“The BN government is not bothered by all these. They just want to extract the logs and export them.

“Worse still, the money from the sale of the logs do not come back to Sabah. The logs belong to the people and not just the ministers and a selected few businessmen with the right connections.

Junz Wong, right, with George Hiew, left, Shim Chee Kwong, the Warisan Lahad Datu coordinator, and Azis Jamman.

“That money should be used to create jobs for anak Sabah.”

Shafie noted the presence of the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu but he said it was not enough and more downstream activities were necessary to provide more employment.

Many youths in Sabah are running to the Peninsula seeking employment that they rightfully should get in the state.

Warisan also pledged to turn Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna into a hub for seafood production in ASEAN should it come into power, saying fish and lobster from these areas are highly prized.

Present at the lunch gathering included Junz Wong, the Likas Assemblyman, Azis Jamman, the Wira chief, Chong Hon Leng, the former Sandakan MP, Mohammadin Ketapi, the Silam Warisan Chief Coordinator, and Paul Voon, the PCS deputy chief.