Government Approves RM4.5mil For Research On Empurau
BETONG: The Federal Government has approved RM4.5mil for research on the empurau (Malaysian Mahseer), a freshwater fish that is almost extinct in Sarawak.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced this at a meet-the-people session held at the futsal court in Spaoh town, about 50km from here yesterday.
“This is to enable the fish to be enjoyed not only by the people of Sarawak but also in the peninsula when it can be harvested in larger quantities later,” he said.
The empurau is a much sought-after fish and very expensive, with the price for 3kg reaching between RM2,800 and RM3,000.
Environmental pollution has caused the fish to become almost extinct.
At the function attended by more than 1,000 residents of Spaoh, Najib said the Federal Government had made huge allocations for development in Sarawak, including RM5.7bil under the National Key Result Areas for 2010-2012.
“The allocation for Sarawak is the biggest compared to other states. Under the 1Malaysia concept, projects implemented are not based on ethnicity.
“The government is deeply committed to uplifting the living standard of the people particularly in the rural areas,” he said, adding that the government had also agreed to implement its pledge to carry out survey work on native customary rights (NCR) lands in Sarawak, which had become a bone of contention among the owners.
“Last year we allocated RM20mil for this prupose, this year RM30mil and next year another RM30mil will be provided. As such, accusations by the Opposition that the government is not doing anything about this are a pack of lies.
“They (Opposition) should wake up to the reality that the government does not sideline rural residents in connectiion with their ancestral lands,” he said.
Najib also slammed the Opposition, in particlar a “one-eyed party”, for not being up-to-date on development issues. — Bernama