KUANTAN: A special officer to the Pahang Mentri Besar and all 11 MIC members in local authorities across the state have resigned over the handling of enforcement operations in Cameron Highlands.
V. Arumugam said their resignation came after attempts to find an amicable solution for affected farmers in Kuala Terla met a dead end.
"We have asked the Mentri Besar to give a time frame for the farmers to relocate as well as harvest their crops. We have kept up negotiations but the Mentri Besar could not come to terms with our proposals," he said.
"Nothing has materialised. We have failed to settle the problem as representatives of the community in Cameron Highlands so it has left us with no choice but to resign," added Arumugam on Monday (Dec 23).
The state MIC chairman said that the farmers were actually willing to relocate and would let Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail decide on the time frame.
"This is because they have invested a lot of time and money into their farms. If the government proceed with the enforcement, it will render the farmers bankrupt," he said.
State secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said on Monday that the government was committed to proceeding with the enforcement and would not compromise.
Arumugam said several settlers took out an interim injunction previously to halt the operations but the move only made Wan Rosdy back out of further discussions.
He said the settlers were hoping to bring Wan Rosdy back to the negotiating table and withdrew the suit.
"They withdrew with the intention to sit down and discuss the matter with the Mentri Besar. They were hoping he would listen," he said.
Arumugam said MIC president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran was aware of their resignation and would decide on the next course of action.
The Mentri Besar's office had yet to respond to a request for comments.
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