SEVERAL farmers in Malim Nawar are worried as some individuals, claiming to be from a sand mining company, had showed up at their doorsteps wanting to carry out mining works on their land.
The incident occurred last Monday , when the individuals, with a purported permit by the state government, had wanted to survey the land before starting extraction of sand.
Malim Nawar Farmers’ Association secretary Chai Yoon Fook said the individuals had met with him, informing that they have the licence to mine the land they were farming on.
“They also showed me a letter, purportedly a permit to mine sand from about 46.9ha of land in Malim Nawar and Kuboi in Kampar.
“They claimed that part of my land was within the permitted mining site,” he said.
“I was also told that about seven other farmlands are also within the mining site and they want to take the land from us,” he said.
Chai, who has been farming there for about 20 years, said he chased the men away from his farm.
He noted that this was not the first incident as unknown individuals have been to the farms in Malim Nawar for the same purpose before.
In 2012, three farmers were allegedly assaulted by about 30 people, said to be from a sand mining company, after they tried to stop them from clearing the land they were farming on.
The group was said to have intruded into the farmers’ land and had destroyed almost 0.61ha of farm land with an excavator.
The company had then compensated the farmer for his medical bills as well as damaged crop.
Chai also explained that most of the farmers did not have land titles, despite having applied for these about five years ago.
“Most of us have been working on the farm land for about 20 years.
“We just hope the sand mining companies would find other areas to extract the sand and not from our farms which we have been working so hard on,” he said.
“We also hope the state will not forget about our applications for land titles so that we can farm in peace and earn a living from it,” he added.
Another farmer Liew Yin Seong, 53, said he was surprised by the group of individuals wanting to mine sand from his farm.
“They just showed up without notice and wanted to survey my farm.
“I was stunned for a moment, fearing that officers from the state government had come to evict me,” he said.
“I asked them to show me the plan for their said mining site but they could not do so,” he added.
Liew, who has been farming for about 30 years, said the sand miners should look elsewhere and not bother the farmers here.
Chai Kim Chew, 64, said he hoped the state government could clarify whether the claims by the sand miners were true.
“It will not only affect the farmers but also those working on the farms as well as our families.
“This is our livelihood and we do not want people to mess with our rice bowl,” he said.
Kim Chew also said that he would not give up on the land that he had toiled on for about 40 years easily.
“We will resist the sand miners to the end,” he said.
Kampar MCA division secretary Daniel Wa Wai How, who also visited the farms, said he would check with the district land office and with the state Agriculture Development Corporation on the claims made by the sand miners.
“We need to check on this matter, to find out whether the permit was really issued.
State Chinese New Villages Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon could not be reached for comments.