Poor road conditions a hindrance to our business – Malaysian rubber tappers

rubber-tappersA village in Pitas, Sabah, wants road conditions to be improved to help them with their livelihoods.

Kampung Petani Baru village head Lorence Lumanggis, a rubber tapper, said the route from the estate to the main road was poorly maintained.

“When it rains, the road becomes rough and almost inaccessible.

“It is difficult for lorries from the Sabah Rubber Industry Board to come in to pick up the rubber,” he said, adding that the village was located about 28km away from town.

Lorence was one of the 2,580 rubber tappers, here, who received RM600 cash aid from the federal government to assist them during the monsoon season between November and January.

The cash aid was presented by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman during his working visit here recently.

Meanwhile, Rahim Duyong, 60, from Kampung Sungoi Eloi, said road conditions affected his income.

“During the monsoon season, I cannot tap rubber, so I have to depend on palm oil and other agricultural products. But without proper roads, it is hard to sell our products,” he said, adding that he had to survive on RM300 to RM600 a month during the monsoon because of the weather and road conditions.

In a similar programme later, Pitas assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail said rubber and palm oil were the main commodities in Sabah.

“There are about 18,000ha oil palm and 16,000ha rubber estates.

“Half of the production of both is about RM16 million,” he said,

With such a high income, the district could be developed on par with Kota Marudu, he added.