Sarawak upset over veggie ban

By STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: The ban imposed by Brunei on vegetables from Sarawak has badly affected the income of farmers and tarnished the image of the states agriculture sector, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

He said the state government was very upset over the move and would conduct a thorough investigation to see if the ban was warranted.

The ban was imposed supposedly because our vegetables contained too much pesticides. However, as far as I know, Sarawak has already drastically reduced the use of pesticides and chemicals in most of our farms, he said when contacted yesterday.

Dr Chan is also State Agriculture Modernisation Minister and State Industrial Development Minister.

Brunei imposed a ban three weeks ago on commercially grown vegetables from Malaysia, the bulk of which comes from Sarawak, claiming that the vegetables contained dangerously high amount of pesticides.

Dr Chan said Sarawak was also exporting vegetables to other countries like Japan and Hong Kong.

So it is obvious the quality of our vegetables are in tune with international health standards. It cannot be that our standard is so different from Brunei, he said.

Asked about the loss of income, he said it was very big.

Previous statistics obtained from vegetable growers in Miri showed that at least RM30mil worth of greens crossed the border into Brunei from Miri district alone every year.

I want a full report from the relevant agriculture agencies and also from the health department to find out the actual situation, he said.

This is not the first time that Brunei had imposed such ban of greens from Sarawak.

Two years ago, a similar ban was also imposed that lasted many months before it was lifted.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?fi … sec=nation

What is that to upset about ? With or without Brunei business,we should be doing well. Brunei is just small proud boy in ASIAN family. Who sometime make big headlines over petty issue. They can buy from Thailand, Viet or China.