Several policies in Pakatan's manifesto not feasible: Shabery Cheek

CYBERJAYA: Several policies laid out in Pakatan Harapan's newly released manifesto was not feasible, said Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, today.

Citing the issue of better food security contained in the manifesto, Ahmad Shabery said the Barisan Nasional-led federal government have been addressing the issue throughout its administration.

"The ministry gives a huge emphasis to such matters with our rankings among Asean countries, Malaysia is placed at number two behind Singapore.

"Singapore's food security would be higher than us because they are not a food-producing country. They are not producing rice, poultry or rearing cattle for beef among others.

"However, in comparison to other food-producing countries in the region like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam for instance, we are better off," he told reporters after presenting the 2017 Excellent Service Awards to the ministry's staff at the Cyberview Resort & Spa, here today.

He emphasised that food security isn't just about stocking up rice but also overall food throughout the country to ensure easier access for the rakyat.

Among other things contained in the manifesto which he opined as debatable is the proposal to have an open market, instead of having Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) as the present single importer for rice in the country.

"This is a debatable proposal, if the markets are opened to everyone, then the price of rice, imported or local will start varying and if the imported rice turns out to be cheaper it will surely affect the livelihood of over 250,000 paddy farmers in the country.

"Their concept threatens the farmer," he said.

His comments came after Pakatan Harapan led by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad released their manifesto last night.

The issue on enhancing better food security and addressing Bernas' monopoly is listed as the tenth pledge contained in the manifesto.