IPOH: Farmers have been unfairly blamed for causing the temperature to go up at Cameron Highlands.
A farmer, who declined to be named, said the rising temperature was a global phenomenon and was affecting the entire planet, not just the highlands.
“I think it’s not right to put the blame on the farmers here. Ipoh, too, had a hot spell few month ago, was it because of the farmers and their farming methods?” he asked.
“It is mainly due to global warming,” he claimed, contrary to an expert’s view that the warming was higher at Camerons than globally.
The farmer also noted that the greenhouse farming method used by some was one of the factors affecting the climate change.
The farmer, in his 60s, also said the general perception towards them have changed because of the illegal land clearing for farming.
“There are thousands of farmers at the highlands. Some of the genuine farmers have been criticised even when they are not involved with the land clearing activities,” he said.
“The authorities could do more to track down those responsible,” he added.
Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association secretary Chay Ee Mong declined to comment.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) inbound vice-president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said that with the massive clearing, heavy rains would cause landslides. He said the winding mountain roads could then be cut off with people stranded, as has happened in the past.
“Many tourists from the peninsula and Singaporeans with interest in farming and nature visit Cameron Highlands. Global warming is everywhere but more noticeable here,” he said.
Urging the Government, especially the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, to make the correct but difficult decisions on enforcement, Tan said safety and lives were “more important than pleasing specific groups of people.”
There should harsher punishment for those who illegally cleared land.
Cameron Highlands Floriculturists Association president Lee Peng Fo said they were used to facing landslides and flooding during rains at the end of the year.
“I am more worried about gloomy weather during La Nina as the lack of sun also affects the growth of flowers,” he said.