Malaysiakini Letter

Fishermen's plight and distributors' greed demand political will to change

JD Lovrenciear

LETTER | The media focus on the government wanting to do away with middlemen who continue to rob our hardworking, struggling fishermen deserves more attention.

It is always the same old protectionist arguments that associations and guilds counterpostulate each time the government announces plans to take the bull by the horns.

Indeed, even the 'Pasar Tani' plans mooted by the government has not resolved the rooted middlemen stranglehold on our economy, leaving farmers in a quandary and at the mercy of this middlemen network.

So how now when it comes to fishermen's agony?

The arguments put forth by those defending the middlemen seem logical. But behind those rationalisations is embedded determination to never allow fishermen or farmers that freedom from the stranglehold of middlemen.

Can you beat it? One such association even had the audacity to say that those who in the B40 who cannot afford the expensive catches should settle for the cheaper ikan kembong.

Will the government have the will, the mechanism and the honesty to once and for all restructure the profiteering, exploitative middlemen practice that operate like a mafia to be precise, and instead put in place a system that is more efficient, transparent, measurable and humanely oriented, fairly benefitting all of society?

Or will we be back to square one after getting the votes, as has been the practice all these decades? 

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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