Additional RM42 mil in aid for Sabah rubber smallholders

About 70,000 rubber smallholders in Sabah are poised to receive RM600 each. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The finance ministry today announced that it has allocated an additional RM42 million to help rubber smallholders in Sabah in view of the monsoon season.

Its minister, Lim Guan Eng, said the sum will be distributed by the state government to 70,000 rubber smallholders, who are poised to receive RM600 each.

“This shows that the federal government is concerned about the smallholders who are now affected by low rubber prices,” he said in a statement.

Lim said that Putrajaya had previously allocated RM200 a month —from November 2018 to January 2019 — in aid of the smallholders nationwide.

This included some 6,000 smallholders registered with Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) in Sabah.

However, Lim said the Sabah Rubber Industry Board had appealed for those who managed plots of less than 6ha to be eligible for the aid.

The additional aid for rubber smallholders comes in the wake of the ministry’s announcement of 49 development projects — worth some RM2.8 billion — for Sandakan, which will witness a by-election on May 11.