Amanah not a DAP tool, says Mat Sabu

The Amanah president says winning over the Malay vote is the party’s biggest challenge.

(FMT) – Amanah president Mohamad Sabu said his biggest challenge is winning votes from the Malay community while trying to change the perception that Amanah is a DAP tool.

In an interview with Sinar Harian, he said the Malays’ negative view of DAP had led them to believe its allies are also enemies of the Malays and Islam. He said this now extended to Umno as part of the unity government.

“The most significant challenge is gaining support from the Malay community because it’s ingrained in people’s minds, especially among Malays, that Amanah is associated with DAP.

“Now, Umno is also accused of being associated with DAP,” he said.

However, Mohamad cited PAS’s flip-flop approach to politics, saying the party actively helped DAP through the 2008 and 2013 elections.

“Yet, when they didn’t collaborate with DAP, they said DAP was communist, wanting to seize Malay rights, and so on.

“These attacks have influenced the minds of the Malay community, making it difficult to dismantle the perceptions or stigma ingrained in their minds,” he said.

He added that anyone affiliated with DAP is considered an enemy of the Malays and Islam, but said this must be overcome with patience and perseverance.

Supplies of chicken, eggs stable

Meanwhile, the agriculture and food security minister said rice shortages have abated for now, while supplies of chicken and eggs are stable.

“The importation of eggs was only a temporary measure. Subsequently, we engaged in discussions with the producers, breeders and various stakeholders, who eventually agreed to meet market demands, leading to a stable supply.

“This good state will continue, but I cannot predict for how long.”

He said the industry had faced various problems, including a shortage of workers, corn and soybeans for over two years, leading some breeders unable to cope with the increased cost of chicken feed.

“They had to temporarily close. Now, some are reopening as the chicken market has recovered and prices have moderated.”

However, Mohamad admitted that the supply of rice is still a major headache for him.

“Suppose that, in the next 10 years, rice-exporting countries refuse to supply rice to us. With a growing population and foreign workers, everyone needs rice.

“The average citizen consumes 80kg, while foreign workers consume 120kg due to their strenuous work. We must strive to meet our local rice requirements.”

Mohamad said the ministry is looking at new fertilisers, new seeds and high-yielding planting locations like Sekinchan, which he hoped to replicate in Kedah and Terengganu.

“The primary challenge is irrigation, which incurs significant costs, especially for planting padi every two years.”

He said food security went beyond domestic politics, noting that he had a good relationship with Sanusi Nor, the menteri besar of Kedah, where much of the rice is grown.

Mohamad said research was ongoing into cultivating other crops, such as maize, soybeans and onions, but they were still in the early stages.