KUANTAN: Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob (pic) has issued an ultimatum to illegal cultivators; stop or face the music.
He said the state government had yet to take any harsh measures but the errant farmers should not view them as weak.
"I hope the people will realise that the Government is not scared of taking action against the illegal farmers. We are actually very sensitive to the needs of the people and we know many of the farmers earn their living from this activity. It is their bread and butter.
"Our Tuanku (Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah) rightly pointed out that the law is there and you cannot beat the Government but the very humane consideration of the Government should not be mistaken as a weakness," he told The Star at his office here Wednesday.
Adnan said it was a perennial problem and was very difficult to be tackled unless the state government go harsh on the farmers, which they were trying to avoid.
He said those who embark on flower or vegetable cultivation on a large scale could continue but hoped the people of Cameron Highlands understand that there was no more land to be approved.
Adnan said the state government's decision to freeze the temporary occupation licence (TOL) application was made precisely to preserve Cameron Highlands from destruction.
"Blaming the state government for freezing the TOL application as the reason for illegal cultivation is not right.
“We froze the TOL application because we wanted to preserve a certain percentage of greenery in Cameron Highlands.
"If we legalise the illegal cultivators by giving them a chance to apply for the TOL, then that will defeat the whole purpose," said Adnan.
He added that the state government would discuss the matter further to overcome the problem promptly, as illegal cultivation was also very rife in Bera and Raub.
"The law will take its course. Those who are still doing this had better stop," Adnan said.
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