KUALA LUMPUR: Rubber smallholders, paddy farmers and fishermen have expressed their gratitude over the news of the RM200 Special Aidilfitri Assistance as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) yesterday.

They described the aid as proof of the Unity Government’s concern and determination to prioritise the welfare of rubber smallholders, paddy farmers and fishermen, thus easing their burden as they prepare to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

In KEDAH, paddy farmers, especially those affected by floods recently, described the special additional assistance as helping to ease their burden.

Sixty-seven-year-old Jamaludin Mahmud, a farmer from Kampung Titi Haji Idris, Pendang, who was also affected by the floods, said he was relieved with news of the special assistance because it would reduce his financial woes after his income was affected by the disaster.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Abu Bakar, 72, of Taman Impian, Alor Setar, who has been farming for over 40 years, said he would utilise the aid to purchase necessities to prepare for the Aidilfitri celebration.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, Othman Parman, 67, who is one of the settlers to receive the assistance, hoped that the amount given would be increased from time to time in line with the rising trend of the cost of living.

“I am thankful for the assistance, we hope all rubber tappers will receive the special aid. I tap rubber from my own farm, so I hope those who tap rubber for others will also receive the assistance because their income is limited,” said Othman, who is from Jempol.

Fifty-one-year-old Jamal Borhan echoed the same sentiment, adding that he hoped the rate of assistance would be increased in the future, especially for rubber tappers with big families.

Fishermen in TERENGGANU receiving the special Aidilfitri financial assistance said it will not only help them prepare for the festive season but also for the purchase of school supplies for their children.

For Kamaruddin Osman, 58, who has been affected by the monsoon season over the past few months, the aid will enable him to buy school supplies for his children.

“Four months without any income and, suddenly, in March have to spend so much for my three children’s schooling needs. It’s a big shock because all my children are in secondary school, I have had to rely on the income my wife makes from selling her kuih,” he said when met at Kampung Pengkalan Maras, here, today.

The Prime Minister, in announcing the good news yesterday, said the assistance, costing RM170 million, will benefit 850,000 rubber smallholders, paddy farmers and fishermen.

In Budget 2023 tabled on Feb 24, the government announced the Special Aidilfitri Assistance of RM300 per month for fishermen, RM200 per month for rice farmers for three months per season as well as increasing the monsoon contribution from RM600 to RM800 for four months to rubber smallholders. -Bernama

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