Farmers told to clear out after Perak govt gifts land to football team


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 25 Jul 2019

IPOH: Seven farmers handed over a memorandum to the Perak Menteri Besar in protest after being served notice to vacate state-owned land they been cultivating because the state wants to hand it over over as a gift to the Perak football team.

The order was made by the Kinta Land and District office through a letter dated July 5.

The letter stated that all the farmers must leave the area within 14 days or face the consequences.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers was Chok Ying, 71, who delivered the memorandum to an officer of Perak Mentri Besar's office at the state secretariat building here on Thursday (July 25).

Chok, who had previously tried to secure a land title but to no avail, said his family had been farming corn on the 1.2ha land for three generations.

“My father and grandfather did not apply for land permit, but I tried to seek help from our former assemblyman. However, I did not receive any updates.

“When we received this eviction letter, my friends and I contacted our current assemblyman for help.

“He told us he could extend the evacuation date until Sept 30, but we would still need to move,” he told reporters.

Chok said they were small-scale farmers, and this was the only job they knew.

“All of us do not have any other job and rely solely on the small-scale farm to earn money.

“This is my only source of income, if they take the farm away, where will I go?” said Chok, who was accompanied by PSM chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, at the state secretariat building.

Dr Jeyakumar, who is former Sungai Siput MP, said the farmers were asked to vacate the land because the government wanted to given it to Perak football players as a gift for their performance.

The Perak team won the Malaysia Cup last year.

“We have no problem with the state wanting to reward our football team, but instead of taking the land from these small-scale farmers, why not opt for the land they gave to government linked-companies instead?,” he asked.

Dr Jeyakumar said the farmers only used between 0.80 to 2ha (two to five acres) of land to plant vegetables and fruits on a small scale.

“Why don’t the state government help by giving them land titles?,” he added.

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