Malaysia has approved a massive RM4bil (about US$1.27bil) to increase rice production in the country and keep price down.

Under the new initiative, launched amid rice price increase decreasing supplies, Sarawak, the Malaysian Borneo state would be turned into the new rice bowl for Malaysia.

“There is no longer any space in the peninsula and this area in Sarawak will be the new rice bowl of our country,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after a closed-door meeting with members of parliament from the ruling coalition.

“We now produce only about 65 to 70 per cent of what we need. The government is trying to turn that into 100 per cent self-sufficiency,” he said.

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