Food crisis could collapse the Government

The current food crisis that we are experiencing is not only a problem within our waters, but globally. In 36 countries, the food shortages have become a national crisis and some government, even net producers are pushing the panic button. United Nations has been urged to react on these global level crisis.

The upsurge and skyrocketing prices of rice, wheat, sugar, coffee, soyabean and maze, due to an enigma of increased costs of production, climate changes and increased of demand due to unplanned rapid population growth, seems to have affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It was reported by World Bank that prices of food have increased 57% within the year.

Our nation is not spared. Despite the focus of increasing food production, the food crisis and inflation combination is hurting the people and is very worrying. Within the year, Malaysians have seen the affect on the supply and glaring price of chicken, cooking oil, sugar and since two weeks ago, rice. Some even suggested this region, with some countries like Thailand and Vietnam as net food exporters, could address their neighbours’ common problem collectively.

PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi spoke about this to UMNO leaders, cautioning them of the Government’s downfall.

Bernama.com has the story:

May 11, 2008 17:50 PM

PM: Failure To Tackle Inflation, Food Crisis May Lead To Govt’s Downfall

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi cautioned that the government could fall if it fails to tackle the food crisis and inflation which are also being faced by many other countries now.

The Prime Minister said the government was aware of the situation and had made immediate allocations worth billions of ringgit to ensure that Malaysians were not burdened by these problems.

“We have to take swift action to give a positive impact to the people. You probably may not want to listen but I’m forced to tell you about it,” he said when delivering the Umno president’s message at the party’s 62nd anniversary celebration at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here Sunday.

He said the substantial allocation was actually not included in the government’s initial programme, forcing him to syphon off allocations from the other sectors to ensure that the people’s welfare was looked after and at the same time evade a food crisis and inflation.

Abdullah said if the crisis was poorly handled, it would have an adverse effect on the efforts of the party and the government to win the people’s support.

“The government has no choice but to set up the committee on inflation so that it will not collapse as a result of the food crisis which was caused by the weather,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the government was at the same time being burdened by the increase in the subsidy for fuel and gas from RM35 billion to RM45 billion annually.

“This is a reality and not an excuse. We take the responsibility to carry the burden purely for the people,” he added. — BERNAMA

However, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Dato’ Shahrir Samad said last week that problem was “Not serious enough for Government to take serious action”. Contradicting his own Minister, few days later PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was quoted as saying “Government to import rice to ensure sufficient stockpile for the country”, as an immediate ‘stop-gap’ measure.

When asked to comment about the food crisis, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that the issue about tackling the situation at the moment is about managing the food production and supply, and not the price.

He then questioned the result on Government’s plan to go big and focus on food production and agro-based industries since four years ago. When ask to deliberate, he talked about cost benefit analysis and returns from venturing into this industry and opposed to go on industrialization, from the perspective of the people and how it can really generate the economy, growth and activities.

“When you utilize an acre of land for agriculture compared to industry, you get more jobs and productivity from industries”, when speaking to reporters after officiating the Alumni of Look East Policy in Shah Alam this morning. At the moment, it was reported that there exist more than 80,000 unemployed graduates in the country.

Since launching the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) last year, GLC conglomerates such Sime Darby has been put to task in developing this agro-based in industry, as part of Government planned long term solution.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 23:32  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. berasaskan tindak balas kerajaan sekarang terhadap krisis-krisis yang berlaku sebelum ini, kita agak khuatir dengan kemampuannya menangani kekurangan bekalan makanan yang semakin meruncing di peringkat global. kerajaan seakan tidak mempunyai arah tuju yang jelas serta pelan tindakan yang jitu melainkan pendekatan ad hoc serta terburu-buru. kadangkala terlintas di fikiran sama ada negara ini seperti tidak mempunyai kerajaan. sememangnya diharapkan agar pak lah segera mengosongkan kerusi perdana menteri supaya pemimpin lain dapat mengambil alih. semoga dengan itu negara akan lebih terarah dalam membuat sebarang perancangan, sama ada pembangunan serta juga menangani krisis-krisis yang semakin mencabar dan memerlukan kepimpinan yang tegas, juga mampu meyakinkan rakyat.

  2. I happened to drop by a Ramli bugger stall and a mamak shop and also past by other mamak shops while on the way picking up my kids from tuition; the bugger stall was well patronized as usual while the mamak shops seemed packed with people. It is as though there’s no food crisis as yet and people are affected by it yet. But I hear that the bars are quite quiet nowadays perhaps due to the lifeless stock market and the economic consequences of political uncertainty. I wonder how the stalls and mamak shops will look like when the real crunch comes.

  3. The NCER is a lot of hot air. Nothing has been done yet. They are in the process of setting up yet another agency called the NCIA (Northern Corridor Implementation Authority)to determine how to go ahead with the plans for the NCER. It will most likely hire unemployed UMNO dingbats who lost in the recent elections as CONsultants.

    Why not train the 80,000 unemployed graduates in agriculture? Expand all the FELDA settlements. Put them to work!! Maybe they can even start paying back their PSD loans.

    Or is it a pipe dream because they are all just looking at wearing ties and working in air conditioned offices? Most likely they are just waiting for the next election where the government will create more civil service jobs to absorb them, so they can enjoy their 10 tea breaks a day and other perks.


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