IPOH: The eviction issue plaguing growers of Perak’s famed pomelo fruit in Tambun here should be settled after the general election, incumbent Tambun MP Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.
“Don’t worry. I promise to expedite the administrative process of getting the land gazetted for growing pomeloes,” he told farmers during the Tambun Pomelo Growers Association’s Chinese New Year gathering yesterday.
He said he would personally bring association chairman Chow Sun to meet Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali once the general election was over.
He told reporters later that more than a year ago, the state had already given its approval in principle for a 43ha land site in Tambun to be gazetted for the growing of pomelo.
“The only reason why nothing has happened so far is because of administrative issues, nothing more,” he said, adding that an alternative plot had not been identified for the company, which planned to develop the land there.
“Once the alternative plot is located, things should run smoothly and the farmers will get their land,” he said.
Ahmad Husni also disputed claims that some of the over 300 Tambun farmers who were fa-cing the eviction would have to cultivate pomelos elsewhere.
“I went there with the association and the area needed for planting pomelos is 43ha. The farmers would not have to move,” he said, adding that the soil at Tambun was the most suitable for pomelo cultivation.
The farmers’ eviction issue had reportedly cropped up in the late 1990s when they were told to make way for development.
This was because parcels of the total 121ha of pomelo land in Tambun had been alienated to various companies for development purpo-ses.
In 2005, a company issued 43 farmers eviction notices due to a housing development.
The same year, Tajol Rosli was quoted as saying that about 40ha of the site would be gazetted for pomelo cultivation and farmers who were not selected would have to move to places like Kanthan in Chemor.