Malaysia: Angry over higher costs, Chinese farmers give Pakatan grudging support

  • Rising input costs have cut into the profit margins of farmers in Cameron Highlands, increasing their frustration with the new government they voted for in the 2018 elections, but which they now blame for not easing their burdens.
  • The farmers have felt the impact of the rising cost of living and find that issues, such as the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal or Malaysia’s MYR1tr debt, are of secondary concern to them.
  • Despite their frustrations, some farmers from Ringlet, Habu and Lembah Bertam said they will still back PH in the by-election with the hope that the new government will eventually address their concerns.
  • Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin, when contacted about farmers’ concerns, told The Malaysian Insight that PH will have to explain that high farming costs are partly cause by the ringgit’s low exchange rate.
  • The solutions are long term, he said, to develop agricultural research and technology so that Malaysia need not depend on imported fertilisers and pesticides. He said problems with middleman would also be addressed with a new “farm to family” concept that the ministry is working on.

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