It seems that the Menteri Besar of Kedah has some pretty out-of-the-box suggestions.
The Kedah MB, Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor hopes that the Federal government will allow the state to become an exporter of kratom (locally known as ketum) to Thailand for medical purposes, reported Astro Awani.
The MB elaborated that by doing so, it would be beneficial to many parties especially the government through the collection of export duty.
“The state government is ready to appoint any state agency to act as an agent to collect all the ketum crop and become the legal sole exporter. The government can collect duty from the trade.”
According to Berita Harian, the MB adds: “We are spending a lot of resources to combat inter-border ketum smuggling but if we legalise this (ketum) the authorities will not have to chase smugglers anymore.”
“Ketum cannot be exported because it is under the 1952 Poison Act but planting ketum is not illegal.”
Sanusi says that if there is a need to amend the act, the state government is ready to go through with it.
The main aim as stated by the MB is for it to be used for medical purposes and not as a “cakoroi”.
A “cakoroi” is a concoction made of ketum and other materials that causes one to be “high” and hallucinate.
“Thailand extracts ketum and processes them into health products.”
Ketum was legalised in Thailand in August 2021.
It is said that the ketum planted in Kedah is of high quality when compared to ketum in Thailand, so there is a high demand for Kedahan ketum which can fetch a price of RM150 per kg in Thailand.
Some netizens were really for it as they believe it can help produce more job opportunities.
While others were more critical of this suggestion.