Fatimah (front, second right) receives a souvenir from Mukah Division Agriculture Department officer Malissa Bonaventure Lutong as others look on.

DALAT: The draft for the formation of the Sarawak Sago Industry Development Board (LPIRS) has been completed and is now at the State Attorney-General (SAG) Chambers for final checking and fine-tuning before proceeding to the next stage.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the SAG Chambers would then prepare a bill that would be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

She added the bill would be debated on before it could be approved and finally gazetted.

“The process takes time and we have to wait before LPIRS can become a reality,” she said when officiating at the closing of the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) for the Dalat Constituency at Stadium Perpaduan here today.

Fatimah was representing Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The minister, who is also Dalat assemblywoman, said if the draft could be finalised, completed  and prepared into a bill in time, it could be  tabled during the coming DUN sitting scheduled to begin on Nov 9.

If not, the bill would be tabled during the next DUN sitting next year.

She explained that the purpose of LPIRS was to develop the sago industry and increase the income of sago smallholders.

She said currently, the price of sago was determined by the factories, so there was a need for an entity to help regulate the price.

Fatimah revealed that LPIRS was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who also approved RM5mil for the purpose when he launched Gabungan Parti Sarawak Zone 10 at Rumah Kalang in Bayan Ulu, Jalan Mukah-Selangau on June 22, 2019.