UNLIKE, his rivals, Anwar Ibrahim had a shield not linked to any blue blood political family or patronage but it came from working the ground and knowing how to get the rural Malay heartland to stand with him .READ : SLEEPY Baling Gets Rowdy in 1974, as a 30,000 strong show stopper made up of farmers and students demands for am economic right to live in dignity
WHO would have waged a small fortune that some 49 years latter, as Prime Minister, window of opportunity has opened up for Anwar Ibrahim to regain that shield.
THE shield comes with bragging rights of being the undisputed superstar og the Malay farming community , at the lifeblood of the Malay heartland in Kedah, where it all begun for Anwar Ibrahim.
BUT to regain absolute ownership of the shield, the Prime Minister, should not rely on his cabinet ministers, whoes competence are suspect. The Prime Minister must fight alone and fight either with or from the eyes of a poverty stricken farmer.
KALAU bukan sekarang, bila lagi? The time is now,l for paddy revolution to even up the playing field, to wipe out the stigma that small scale paddy farming equally to poverty. READ: Move Over, Eggs: It is Rice which Faces the Biggest Shortage in 20 Years
THE Prime Minister should do some heavy duty soul searching from the view point of a rice farmer on what READ :Syed Mokthar's RM50 million handout to rice farmers can do.
IT can do very little, Mr Prime minister, with each farmer receiving a minimum RM50 to a maximum RM250, which translates between 13 sen 68 sen a day.
CONSIDER the following , pre 1970, there were nearly 2,000 mills of which some 70 per cent were owned by the farmers themselves.
TODAY there are only 178 rice mills standing, mostly in the hands of Bernas, leaving tbe farmers, as a mere sellers of their rice a price demanded by Bernas.
BERNAS operates as a monopoly in a free enterprise environment, based on ownership of nearl6 two thirds of Malaysia 's rice output and rice complex.
THE weight of the scales placed on the paddy farmer is then staked up oh thier backs to breaking point .
READ : ,The monopoly held by Nafas (National Farmers Organisation) over the distribution of inputs, particularly fertiliser and pesticides, since 1980. Hence, farmers are trapped between two monopolies that limit their economic mobility beyond farms.
THERE are upstream and downstream economic opportunities for the farmers under this plan of action.
ALL the rice farmers want is for Anwar Ibrahim to walk with them one more though this time not plead for mercy, but rather to retake their birth rights.
AN army of farmers, who will theb be equipped to deliver enbloc the heartland to Anwar Ibrahim, just like how their fathers decades ago without fail delivered the heart land mandate to Dr Mahathir