No intimidation against farmers, eviction process done as per law - MB's office

26 Oct 2023 11:23pm
Picture showing the alleged scuffle between PSM members and enforcement officers - Photo by PSM
Picture showing the alleged scuffle between PSM members and enforcement officers - Photo by PSM
IPOH - The claim of forced eviction of a group of farmers in Kanthan, Tambun, is not true as the eviction process was carried out according to the law.

The Perak Menteri Besar’s office, in a statement, said that to resolve the issue, which has been going on for over 11 years, the state government, through the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNPk), had provided an alternative site in Changkat Kinding, which had been gazetted as an agricultural zone.

"The state government is always committed to taking a prudent approach in resolving the issue of the claim by the group of agricultural squatters who carry out illegal agricultural activities at the site of the PKNPk's Silver Valley Technology Park (SVTP).

"To enable the relocation process to be carried out in an orderly manner, the state government has spent over RM700,000 on providing the infrastructure, as well as the construction of terraces for plantation purposes and provision of water supply facilities at the alternative site," read the statement.

According to the statement, a visit to the site in Changkat Kinding was held in May 2021 with the farmers involved, but only a few of them accepted the offer.

"It is very important for PKNPk as the main economic driver of Perak to realise the high-impact SVTP project to complete the plan of driving the development of the state's industry which is expected to provide thousands of job opportunities for the people, apart from creating new business opportunities.

"Nevertheless, as a government that is responsible and understands the constraints facing the farmers concerned, the state government, through the PKNPk, is always open to negotiations so that a solution through the provision of an alternative site in Changkat Kinding can be realised," he said.

The Menteri Besar’s Office said the issue can be resolved amicably with all parties taking responsibility and respecting the principles and supremacy of the law.

The state government, it said, always appreciates the role of farmers in helping to ensure the availability of food resources is always prioritised.
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In fact, Perak is the first state to launch a Food Security Action Plan in an effort to make the state the hub of national food production, it said.

It said food security is one of the six agendas in the Perak Sejahtera 2030 plan which outlines various initiatives to empower the agro-based industry, including the establishment of a Food Security Academy and the construction of a halal industry hub.

Two days ago, it was reported that the police arrested four individuals, including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar, during a farm eviction process in Kanthan, Tambun.

The other three arrested are PSM committee member R Karthiges, Perak PSM Youth member P Kesavan, and a farmer known as Ho Pon Tien.

They were arrested for obstructing civil servants from discharging their duties - BERNAMA