ROMPIN, Aug 27 — Government agencies have been urged to forge cooperation and smart partnerships with the private sector and provide them the opportunities in various fields in efforts to help increase the income of the people and the country as a whole.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said for example, agencies under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKDW) can do so through joint ventures involving underutilised land.  

“We can no longer think or move in silo.  We have to work together, establish connections and be business-friendly to the private sector…Don’t be apprehensive.  Give them a chance, eventually, they will contribute to the government in the form of corporate taxes and also assist in economic growth.

“This in turn brings economic spillover and provides job opportunities to the people, especially those in the rural areas.  This is a shared victory for all those involved,” he said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the palm oil biogas project of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) in Ulu Keratong, here, today.

Also present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, KKDW secretary-general Datuk Seri Ramlan Harun, Risda chairman Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad and Risda director-general Datuk Abdullah Zainal. 

Citing Risda as an example, Ahmad Zahid said the cooperation between Risda and Alliance Concord Green Sdn Bhd (ACG) to develop the biogas project that can operate optimally for 21 years, will generate about 14.8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy annually.

He said this can contribute to the generation of a stable electricity supply to 3,000 rural families, allowing them to live a more comfortable life and creating opportunities for small entrepreneurs to advance their businesses.

“The treatment of palm oil mill effluent will contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing approximately 72,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually,” he said, adding that it has a positive impact on the oil palm smallholders under Risda.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said the local communities will enjoy long-term jobs, especially young individuals with specific skills.

Meanwhile, Risda in a statement said the project is a strategic measure to tackle the issue of oil palm waste disposal, which has negative effects on the environment, in addition to reducing the country’s dependence on natural fuels.

The project, which is in line with KKDW’s Waste to Wealth development initiative, also seeks to achieve the country’s goal of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2035 and a low-carbon status by 2040.

“This project will open collaboration opportunities in research and development (R&D) under local educational institutions as well as opportunities to explore and develop green technology that brings greater benefits to rural development,” read the statement.


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