State govt committed to resolving Kanthan farmers' issue

IPOH: The Perak state government says they are committed to resolving issues claimed by the farmers who were farming illegally at the Silver Valley Technology Park (SVTP) project site that belongs to the State Development Corporation Perak (PKNP).

"This issue has been going on for over 11 years. Through PKNP, the state government offered alternative sites at Changkat Kinding, which has been gazetted as an agricultural zone, and it also involves the cooperation of the State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC)," said a spokesman in a statement issued by the Perak Mentri Besar's office.

"The state government has spent over RM700,000 to prepare infrastructures and terracing works for plantation purposes and water supply facilities at the alternative site.

"A visit to Changkat Kinding in May 2021 was held together with the farmers, but only a small group took up the offer," he said.

"Allegations of persecution and forced eviction are not true, considering the land clearing process is done according to legal channels.

"The state government is confident that the issue can be resolved while being responsible and respecting the principles and rule of law," he added.

The spokesperson said it was important for PKNP to realise the SVTP.

"It (the SVTP project) would then provide thousands of job opportunities for the people and create new business opportunities," he said.

A group of farmers and several Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leaders and activists attempted to stop an eviction process in Kanthan, near Tambun, on Tuesday (Oct 24).

PSM chairman Dr D. Michael Jeyakumar and three others were arrested after the incident.

It was reported on Oct 19 that more than 130 farmers in Kanthan were worried about their livelihood after they were ordered to leave their farms.

They had handed a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at his Tambun parliamentary service centre in Meru.

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