Special officer, MIC members quit

KUANTAN: A special officer to the Pahang Mentri Besar and all 11 MIC members sitting in local authorities across the state have resigned over the handling of enforcement operations against illegal farming 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 to harvest their crops. We have kept up negotiations, but the Mentri Besar could not come to terms with our proposals.

“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.

“What is the purpose of holding on to positions if we cannot come up with a solution?”

Arumugam, who is state MIC chairman, said the farmers were actually willing to relocate, but would let Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail decide the time frame.

“This is because they have invested a lot of time and money into their farms. If the government proceeds with the enforcement,

it will render the farmers bankrupt,” he said.

State Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak said yesterday that the state government was committed to proceeding with the enforcement and would not compromise.

Arumugam said several settlers took out an interim injunction earlier to halt the enforcement operations, but it 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 thus, withdrew the suit on Sept 30.

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 comment by press time.

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Cameron Highlands , illegal farming


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