IPOH, April 7 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is committed to helping the farmers in Cameron Highlands whose farms were closed down and demolished by the Barisan Nasional-led state government.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also Cameron Highlands Rehabilitation Joint Action Committee chairman, however, said various aspects need to be taken into consideration to ensure a win-win situation for both parties.
“We will do whatever as we have the people’s best interest at heart.
“We want to help the farmers, but we must find out what kinds of farming are they conducting and whether it is affecting the environment, is dangerous and can cause a landslide. All these (aspects) must be taken into account.”
Dr Wan Azizah said this after officiating the Malaysian Polytechnics Golden Jubilee celebration at Ungku Umar Polytechnic here today, which was also attended by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
The deputy prime minister said so in response to the drastic action taken by the state government in closing down and demolishing 11 vegetable and fruit farms in Kuala Terla, Cameron Highlands, in its first-phase enforcement operation last February, while the second phase operation on 50 other farms set to be carried out later this month.
The farmers, during a protest rally on March 31, claimed that the state government’s action had caused them to lose their source of income, hence making it difficult for them to repay their loans with financial institutions.
Prior to this, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail reportedly said that the state government needed to take such drastic measures to ensure the sustainability of treated water for 70 per cent of Cameron Highlands residents, as the farms were said to be polluting Sungai Terla. — Bernama