To improve the state’s economy and that of the populace, the Kedah state government will reportedly keep pursuing efforts to obtain federal government permission for ketum export to Thailand.
If voters chose to support Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the 15th General Election, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor expressed confidence that the clearance would be granted.
Sanusi said, “InsyaAllah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, our 10th Prime Minister, will look into this issue, and we will keep working until we are successful. I have no doubt that the upcoming federal administration will give this issue adequate consideration.”
After the rally, which was also attended by PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Sanusi said, “Our state is not wealthy. Selling ketum locally will only earn you RM30 per kg, while smuggling it to Thailand can net you up to RM150 per kg. We want to permit the export of ketum because of this. Sadly, the Parliament was dissolved just as we were about to gain the consent.
“Otherwise,” he said, “the individuals (who plant ketum) in Pendang will become millionaires.”
Sanusi added that legalising ketum export would be preferable to allowing locals to abuse the herb.
“Thailand has the ability to manufacture health items, so if we export the plant, they (Thailand) process it into medicine, nutritious drinks, and several other items. The state would suggest that the export be handed to a state government subsidiary in order to be better regulated should the federal government agree to license the export of ketum.
“People in Sik and Padang Terap can also become millionaires, not just those in Pendang. But those who haven’t yet planted ketum trees should wait (for approval) before doing so,” he advised, as reported by NST.
It was revealed in March of last year that the federal government was debating approving Kedah’s lawful ketum shipment to Thailand. Sanusi was quoted as saying that in order to export the item correctly and in compliance with current regulations, as there were rules that had to be followed.
On April 25 this year, deputy communications and multimedia minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, stated that the Cabinet had chosen to proceed with obtaining authorisation for the planting procedure of hemp and ketum.
The parliamentary committee on medicinal cannabis announced that policy problems relating to the growth of the hemp, cannabis, and ketum industries would be raised in the Cabinet following a meeting. Zahidi authorised his ministry to consult with health minister Khairy Jamaluddin prior to this.
“This is a fantastic development, particularly for individuals in the medical industry.However, I would like to emphasise that any approval is for therapeutic purposes only, not for recreational use,” he said at the time, according to Utusan Malaysia.