Durian farmers to continue fight against Pahang govt’s eviction notice

UNLICENSED Musang King durian farmers in Raub are unwilling to reconsider calls for them to abandon their application for judicial review against Pahang government’s decision to evict them.

The farmers are also dissatisfied with new terms offered in a company’s proposal for durians to be sold exclusively to the company.

Save Musang King Alliance president Wilson Chang said the farmers did not agree to selling durians exclusively to the company.

Recently, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail urged farmers to reconsider their application for judicial review.

Wan Rosdy said as far as the Pahang government was concerned, the state had indefeasible title over the lands in dispute.

Chang said the farmers were unhappy over the fixed ceiling price of durian which they said was far below the market rate.

He said this after a meeting with durian farmers in Raub.

Raub MP Chow Yu Hui and Tras assemblyman Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji also attended the meeting.

Chang said the farmers unanimously adopted a resolution to continue the judicial review process in order to protect their interests.

The farmers initiated judicial review against the state government for issuing eviction notices on them for occupying lands in or around Sungai Ruan, Sungai Chalit, Sungai Klau, Tranum, Tras and the Gunung Benom Forest Reserve.

The farmers are also asking for judicial review on the state government’s decision to award a lease and rights to use 2,167.9ha of land in Raub to a private company for a period of 30 years and an additional 30 more years, as well as making it mandatory for farmers to sell durians to the company.

Chang said the farmers had agreed to set up a panel to negotiate with the state government or the company to resolve the Musang King crisis.

He said the negotiations between the farmers and the state government or the company must be based on equal partnership.

“All terms in the agreement must be formulated and signed with both parties’ consent.

“A free market must be guaranteed for a healthy competitive environment,” he added.

Chang said the farmers were willing to pay higher land tax, 20 times more than the rate set in the Pahang State Gazette 2019.

He further said that the farmers were willing to share responsibility in environmental preservation by paying a protection levy to create a sustainable durian industry.

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