Posted: 23 Jun 2011 01:23 AM PDT
Posted on 23 June 2011.
KANOWIT: One week before the recent Gawai Dayak festival, unscrupulous traders were in a different kind of 'festive mood'.
Taking advantage of the festival which began on June 1, they forced longhouse folk here to sell their rubber at much lower prices, knowing the latter needed money for the celebrations.
Such a situation was the norm even at shops in Kanowit town and other smaller riverine towns and villages, alleged longhouse chief Stephen Chendang, of Nanga Bawan near here.
"For the one-week period, these shopowners who knew we needed the money to celebrate, would only buy our rubber at between RM7.50 and RM7.90 per kilogramme, although the market price then was RM10.
"We were left with little choice…forced to, whilly- nilly, accept the price as it would cost us extra to sell in places like Sarikei or Sibu," he told reporters here today.
On Monday, state land development minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing had said in Kuching that he had recieved complaints from Kapit residents that they were forced to sell their rubber at below market price, a few days before the Gawai Dayak celebration.
He said, before the festival, the price was RM7 per kilogramme but after the celebration, it rose to RM9. Currently, it is RM10.50 or more. – Bernama
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