By Red Fox
I am in disbelief observing the sudden turn of events over the “disputed” land where our reputed Musang King durians are produced in Raub, Pahang.
I feel that the Kuantan High Court's decision on Oct 28 to allow a stay of an eviction order until Dec 9 is not doing anyone any good, be it for the farmers, the middlemen or the government.
ILLEGAL MEANS ILLEGAL. ILLEGALITY BREEDS CONTEMPT.
A simple concept, yet many turn a blind eye for selfish reasons.
An act of compassion by the Pahang government to enable the farmers sustainable living (although they have encroached into forest reserve lands illegally) by turning them into legal farmers and to guide them using sustainable cultivation best practices and price stability has turned into a chaotic situation.
I believe that the state government, if given a choice, would not want to evict the farmers.
The eviction notice was given due to the farmers’ own stubbornness for not wanting to be a legal party ensuring they have the legal lease rights to continue producing durians using sustainable cultivation best practices with MyGAP certification to ensure their durians are export ready.
Moreover, the State is preparing them to be legal exporters as China (the biggest market of Musang King to date) requires durians imported must be produced by legal farms!
The terms and conditions were discussed with the farmers since July 2019, which is A YEAR BACK!
I was told by one legal farmer that the Legalisation Scheme was a work in progress since July 2019.
Until today, only 120 farmers have registered out of the approximately 1,000 undocumented farmers, believed to be farming in the 5,357 acres of land currently in contention, which was leased to RPDR-PKPP on a 10+10+10 years agreement.
The balance 880 farmers have yet to register.
This bad culture and habit of delaying (JPJ fines, income tax, rent, assessment and any other government statutory payment), hoping the government of the day will give discounts, leeway and etc, just got to STOP!
This is akin to outright BLACKMAILING!
Let’s call a spade a spade.
1. Rightful owner of the “disputed” land is the Pahang government and/or its related state agencies.
2. Farmers have encroached into forest reserve lands, a very serious offence. Yet, they go to court claiming they have legal right and our Land Department being made the defendant? Outright absurdity.
3. RPDR-PKPP, the legalization scheme company is partly owned by Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Negeri Pahang (PKPP), a government state agency! The farmers ARE DEALING with a government agency! Yet, SAMKA, the so-called champion of the farmers keep blinding this fact from the undocumented farmers. PLEASE WAKE UP!
4. Farmers must learn to comply with internationally recognized MyGAP certification guidelines and keep proper records to pay taxes. If normal citizens have to pay taxes for our hard earned money, shouldn’t they too? They have been given off the hook for so many years as they say they ploughed the land for 30 years! Let me give you a quick calculation of how big the business is in monetary sense;
- Land size: 5,357 acres.
- One acre, est 30 trees = 5,357 acres x 30 = 160,710 trees.
- 30 trees, est a yield 45 durians per tree = 160,710 x 45 = 7,231,950 durians.
- One durian, est 1.5kg = 7,231,950 x 1.5kg = 10,847,925 kg/10,848 tonnes.
- One kg @ RM30 =10,847,925 X 30 = RM325,437,750 (RDPR-PKPP buys from farmers)
- One kg @ RM45 = 10,847,925 x 45 = RM813,594,375 (Middle men buys from farmers currently)
- One kg @ RM100 = 10,847,925 x 100 =RM1.8 billion!!! (Potential price export to China)
5. Illegal farming in any form is raping the natural environment as in the case of Cameron Highlands and has to be curbed.
6. Price stability. I read that the farmers are assured of a fixed nett price of RM30/kg regardless of whether the market price goes up or down. They don’t lose as well if the price goes down, as what happened to other commodities such as palm, rubber, and more recently fruits ie pineapples, mangoes. But no one seems to think and talk about that.
7. Government allowed them to farm back in 1974 was due to the World Food Crisis then. Food prices escalated all over the world, including Malaysia. Rancangan Buku Hijau (Green Book Programme) was then launched to encourage citizens to plant and cultivate food and produce within the confines of areas surrounding their house, for their own consumption, DON'T use the Green Book Programme as an excuse to encroach into forest reserve land, commercialized their produce and don’t pay taxes!
Malaysia will continue to rot if we allow illegal farming to continue with no one to monitor the quality of produce and sustainable cultivation best practices are implemented.
Politicians and cyber-troopers please stop the intimidation, the slander, the insinuations, and blinding the public on the real facts of the matter.
STOP being selfish and compromise our country’s repute, economy and sustainable living for the farmers!