KUALA LUMPUR – July 24, 2017: Contrary to what was alleged, the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) today clarified that it has disbursed the cash incentive promised in June last year to registered smallholders.
The one-off incentive was for RM500.
According to Risda’s corporate communication director Muhammad Adnin Bakir Abu Bakar, the agency has given the incentive to 388,111 smallholders.
“We are aware of the complaints and I would like to point out these have been coming from tappers, not the smallholders.
“What has been happening is that there are smallholders who do not want to share the cash with the tappers who work for them,” Adnin said, adding that Risda has been receiving complaints from about half of the 80,000 tappers registered with the agency.
Adnin clarified that Risda is powerless to act and force the smallholders to share the money with the tappers.
In June last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the government had allocated RM194 million to Risda for the incentive.
The money was given to help smallholders cushion the impact of the slump in the price of rubber. A similar incentive was given in 2013 and 2014.