'Five seasons in two years' paddy cultivation initiative not unity govt's idea

21 Jul 2023 12:29pm
Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor - Photo by Bernama
Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor - Photo by Bernama

SIK - The 'five seasons in two years' paddy cultivation initiative is Kedah's idea and not that of the unity government led by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the initial proposal for Kedah to explore the new method was pioneered together with former Muda Agriculture Development Board (Mada) chairman Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman.

He said the state's effort had already been initiated over a year ago involving 1,240 hectares of paddy field area.

"We (Kedah) were the ones who proposed the 'five seasons in two years' paddy cultivation initiative. Mada at that time was searching for seeds in Indonesia that could mature in 75 days and now, (it was reported that) the seeds are in the patent process.

"After that, recently, he (Anwar) came to Kedah and announced that he was the one who came up with the idea of cultivating (paddy) five times in two years. We had planned it earlier, he just came over, but wanted to claim it," he said at the 'Taujihat Pimpinan: Munajat Perdana programme at Dewan Al-Hana, here, last night.

In June, last year, the Kedah government intended to plant paddy five times every two years to reduce dependency on rice imports.

Sanusi said the imports did not need to continue if the move was successfully executed.

The Kedah Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman also believed that opponent parties envied Kedah for its achievement since PN took over the administration.

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"Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor, Penang, just relax. Kedah has many great achievements. Within our limited capacity, we have almost completed the process of fixing the water supply infrastructure. We received grants and loans at that time.

"If they could, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) would claim that these are their successes if PN does not win the state polls and the project is completed during their reign. They would say that the success hailed from their efforts," he explained.

Sanusi said that other achievements included the process of upgrading four water treatment plants in the form of grants worth RM931 million besides an effort to deal with non-revenue water (NRW) of RM940 million using the first model in the country.

"Usage of this model has never been done in other states. Kedah is the pioneer. Our target is to reduce the percentage of NRW from 48 per cent to 25 per cent. The good things that we planned, they (PH/BN) want them to come to fruition during their governance, so by hook or by crook, they have to take down Sanusi. That's what they've been working on even though I didn't do anything wrong," he said further.

He said Kedah was also given a financial management certificate by obtaining a cleanliness certificate as well as being certified as having a strong financial position.

"That's why they are so angry at me. They said that I speak impolitely and harshly. WelI if I didn't, they wouldn't listen. Tens of Kedah MBs had spoken. I'm the 14th. Only when I spoke bluntly, their eyes will open. When I did it nicely, they didn't," he said.

Sanusi said that the Kulim International Airport project was also blocked because the impact of the project would increase Kedah's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by another 4.5 per cent.

"The economic spillover will flow to the east of Kedah which has many Malays compared to the west which is a mixed area. The wealth of the state should be brought to the centre and then the east for equal distribution,. That's why they're angry with me.

"After that, they said you can't touch the 3Rs (religion, race,royal). How do I lay out this strategy. On top of that, he (Anwar) didn't want to see me discussing about the airport," he said