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IPOH, Dec 3 — Stern action will be taken against companies that farm illegally on state land, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu told the state legislative assembly today.
He said there were two types of farmers who have been occupying state land without permission: small-time farmers and large companies, which he called “corporate farmers”.
“Corporate farmers are making a huge return in farming by using state land, but do not provide any yield in return to the state government.
“The state government is serious about this matter and we have to take stern action on the corporate farmers,” he said.
But Ahmad Faizal said his state government will be more lenient to the small-time farmers if they were found to have used the land illegally as a means to earn a living.
“For those small farmers using the state land to make ends meet, we will consider finding a new place for them to cultivate.
“We are aware of their problem and we will try to allocate land for them. But, if they were given the chance to choose, then they have to migrate to different places as the area allocated will not be at the same place they’re cultivating now,” he said.
The Chenderiang assemblyman also said the government has always provided space for farmers to own their own land through a group farming plan.
Separately, Ahmad Faizal also said the state government had approved a total of 12,668 applications for temporary occupation licences (TOL) covering over four million hectares in total from 2012 to 2018.
He said the TOL for the Chinese totalled 6,180, Malays 5,553, Indians 915 and others 20.