KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — A group of vegetable farmers and flower growers from Cameron Highlands are urging the Pahang state government to stop demolishing their farms, several days before the second phase of demolition is due to begin.
Klang MP Charles Santiago, speaking on behalf of the farmers, said 61 farmers along Jalan Ipoh in Sungai Ichat are affected.
“On February 25, an enforcement operation was carried out by the state government which saw 11 of the farms demolished. The remaining 50 will be demolished starting this Thursday (April 11),” he told a press conference at the Dewan Rakyat.
As a result, some of the farmers had gone to Parliament to submit a memorandum to the Federal government, urging them to look into the matter.
Santiago claimed this is a likely case of political victimisation.
“They have been accused of polluting the nearby rivers, but many of these farmers have been living there for over 50 years. That was never the case in the past.
“Indeed, although the state government insisted it will carry out the demolition operations without compromises ostensibly for the sake of Cameron Highlands’ constituents, it has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation backed by solid facts,” he said.
Along with several other MPs including Jelutong’s RSN Rayer and Padang Serai’s M. Karuppaiya, Santiago said they would meet up with Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Datuk Salahuddin Ayub later today to discuss the matter at length with him.
“We will also try to meet Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, with the hopes he can convey the farmer’s sentiments to Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
“The main focus now is to stop the demolition from taking place. Many of the farmers have taken bank loans to operate their businesses, and demolishing the farms will leave them without any source of income,” he said.