KOTA KINABALU, April 15 — Sabah is planning to boost its food security for the eventuality that the movement control order (MCO) is extended, said Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

The chief minister said his administration wanted to wean the state of its reliance on food imports.

“We have to look into food security – agriculture, fisheries, fruits – all of that is needed. The lockdown could be until May, June. Even if export is not encouraged, we will need adequate supply.

“People are losing their jobs, we cannot lose food supply as well,” he said.


Shafie said he approved 10,000 acres of land for rice cultivation in Sapi Canal in Sandakan earlier this year, along with Membakut and Long Pasia, with some RM5 million in assistance.

He said it was the priority to ensure Sabah has enough rice supply without needing to import from Thailand or Vietnam.

“Next is to revive the economy. We will be looking into job opportunities. We are also forgoing tax collections in order to lighten the burden on people who are suffering,” he said,


He said that the state has so far spent RM19 million to provide food and basic supplies to the needy, students and senior citizens.

“We have reached maybe 400,000 people so far, We know that is not even half, so we have to work harder to reach out to everyone in need. Some are harder to reach, they have no account numbers but we will try to extend them cash aid for now,” he said.