The Star, May 6th, 1999

RM200-a-pig appeal to be considered

No promises, farmers told

By Foong Pek Yee and Celeste Fong

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will consider appeals from pig farmers to increase the compensation from RM50 to RM200 a pig, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik.

"We will see what we can do (but) we make no promises," said Dr Ling, who is also deputy chairman of the Cabinet task force on Japanese Encephalitis (JE), yesterday.

On Tuesday, farmers and members of their families handed a memorandum to the MCA demanding RM200 as compensation for each pig culled.

MCA assistant chief administrator Mok Ah Ho met the demonstrators and received the memorandum promising to hand it over to Dr Ling.

MCA chief administrative director Datuk Lim Si Cheng said the farmers' dissatisfaction would be raised at the party's weekly presidential council meeting.

Dr Ling said millions of ringgit had been raised to help the affected people and alternatives such as rescheduling their loans and longer credit period were being worked out.

"We have been talking to feedmill (factory owners) and banks," he said, adding that the Government had been doing all it could to help them.

In a related development, Lim said MCA was finalising a proposal to help 96 college and university students whose families were affected by the JE crisis in Negri Sembilan.

Lim said the proposal would be presented to the party's presidential council next week for a decision.

He said the aid for these students would be derived from RM2mil set aside from the party's JE Humanitarian Fund.

Lim said some of the students were finding it hard to pay their fees.

Earlier, Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd donated RM100,000 to the fund while Riche Monde Malaysia made a contribution of RM52,880.

The mock cheques of RM100,000 and RM52,880 were presented by Tan Chong Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Tan Kim Hor and Riche Monde Malaysia managing director Robert Remnant respectively to Dr Ling yesterday.

Donors gave a total of RM13,263.60 at The Star's head office in Petaling Jaya and RM742.29 was received by its Klang office.

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