KOTA KINABALU: Sabah UMNO Women Chief Datuk Dr Jainab Ahmad Ayid has urged the State Government to ban the export of certain types of fish from Sabah, so the State can continue to be a seafood heaven and keep the prices lower.
“We should keep Sabah a seafood haven for tourists and keep the prices lower for Sabahans.”
“While I support the State Government move to impose State Sales Tax on exported seafood from Sabah, I also think that fish like Bawal, Tenggiri, Bawal Putih and Ikan Merah should be banned from export as Sabahans consume these fish as their source of protein,” she said.
Sabahans have always eaten fish for their protein input. If you look at our traditional foods such as Hinava, Salt Fish etc, our cultural background will disappear if none of these fish is unavailable.
“We have a right to our own fish,” she stressed.
“Although we should encourage our business community, we must first keep our responsibility to the rakyat,” she said in a statement.
Jainab also disagreed with Yong’s claim that there was a surplus of seafood, hence the exports.
“It was reported on Dec 2 this year that a United Nations report published in March this year ie 2018, that in 30 years all Commercial fishing could cease in the Asia-Pacific region if existing threats to region’s biodiversity are not acted upon.
“I feel this also includes aquaculture farming in mangrove forest areas which must be protected,” she said.
Any new tax for export can be channeled into building more aritificial reefs and rehabilitating the mangroves. Our environment must be protected at all cost.
She was also surprised that Yong wanted to look North but “he didn’t raise to the problems regarding the claims of the Communist China on our Sea.
“Strange that he (Yong) is quiet on this,” she said.
The State Government will impose a 5% State Sales Tax on all seafood exports with effect from Jan 1, 2019, as part of its effort to overcome the local shortage of seafood products and to make Sabah a seafood haven for both local and foreign tourists. –by LSK/BNN