Monday, 12 July 2021

The need to get rid of durian trees in forest reserve

By Red Fox


The recent enforcement by the Pahang Forestry Department in Batu Talam made headlines not only in major publications but also has turned into a heated debate in the internet sphere. 

Let’s look at the issue with logical sense and not caught up in emotional sympathy.

What many have overlooked is the fact that the 250 acres of illegal durian farms were planted in a permanent forest reserve that was illegally cleared of valuable forest trees to balance mother nature ecosystem. 

Our forest has been raped by these illegal farmers in question, who are in reality the runners to the taikor 'owner' who is an active member of a political party instigating the illegal farmers to protest.

The earnings for this plantation at current prices are more than RM20 million per harvest season (250 acres x 40 trees/acre x 40 fruits/tree x 2kg/fruit x RM30/kg).  

Shouldn’t one wonder if the term ‘poor farmers’ is fitting when they have gained so much? 

The pictures we see in recent days at the enforcement site shows big mature durian trees. 

While it is a fact that a durian tree takes a minimum of 6 years to be harvested and the need to toil the land over the years, as they have themselves admitted they have been planting these trees on the claimed ‘promised land’ for the past 20 years. 

From 6 years onwards the trees keep fruiting every year! 

RM20 million for 14 years, how much tax and land assessment these "poor " farmers have paid in the last 14 years?   

The illegal durian farms in Batu Talam Forest Reserve in question (currently enforced) had nothing to do with the court order and the dispute in Raub which the Menteri Besar and the Forestry Department has clarified and affirmed. But it seems to fall on deaf ears. 

So, why now, you may ask? 

Should we not start asking why not now? 

The durian craze and the huge market in China has resulted in illegal plantations doubling in the last 5 years than over the preceding 20 years. 

This has resulted in huge environmental and sustainability issues. Do we want another Cameron Highlands incident to recur? 

The State government has learned a hard lesson from the Cameron Highlands incident. Certainly, no sane government would want to see that happening again which will destroy the people’s lives and livelihoods which will also have a domino effect to the country’s economy.

There is also the not so talked about issue of Good Agricultural practices. 

If these farmers don't care two hoots about forest reserves and the law, what makes you think they will adopt proper agriculture practices to ensure that the industry is sustainable? 

The fruits originating from these illegal farms do not have MyGAP certifications. How does it get to the export market one wonders? What if the authorities overseas find out? 

Kindly not be blinded by all their emotional sympathetic claims. 

Rampant use of pesticides and inorganic fertilisers will become the norm for fast financial gains. 

Already, they are planting the durian trees haphazardly for big yields with no consideration for the soil and land to heal. From 30 trees/acres with a distance of minimum 6 metres apart, they are planting nearly 45 trees per acre with just 3 metres apart! 

While there is no denying the state's enforcement authorities have been lax over the years, should the authorities continue to turn a blind eye to illegal felling of forest land and indirectly encourage further encroachment, waiting for the soil to erode? 

When is the right time then? Wait till pandemic is over? How many of us has a certainty today when the pandemic is over? Wait till the next harvest and next protest? 

Enough is enough! We have to tell them to stop just as how we need to tell rapist to stop and if they don’t heed, we put them in jail and cut them off their habits!

The State needs to come up with a holistic humane solution. Whether it is through the proposals by well-connected personalities as in Raub is another matter. 

Importantly the State must study each proposal carefully to salvage the industry. 

It’s not as simple as renting the land to the farmers and that’s it. 

There must be agricultural practice, environmental and produce controls put in place. 

Hence a holistic approach is required. Likewise, the entire durian supply chain must also be transformed. Ensure that transactions are recorded from farm to factory to market. 

When there are mechanisms of traceability, there is accountability. Where there is accountability, there is adherence to rules and regulations in every aspect as opposed to quietly planting illegally in forest reserves. 

Alas, hope this is not too much to ask and expect from this Government to do anything for the people who are really in need, not political cronies from both political divides.

Let’s keep our sanity!


  1. One sided article which conveniently ignore the hidden hands that has allowed these plantation to florish all these years.

    Do we see similar actions taken against the miners next to forest reserves in Chini?


  2. If you’re driven by greed, nothing could stop you on your track. Ethical, moral compass, rule of law thrown out of window.

  3. Tak ada orang berilmu pun yang marah para penguatkuasa menjalankan tugas mereka. TIADA!
    2. Cuma, yang kita kelakar dah nama pun Hutan Simpan Kekal (HSK), ke mana perginya para Kakitangan Kerajaan yang diberi amanah untuk menjaga HSK ini sehingga para penceroboh boleh pula menanam pokok persendirian
    3. Kita mahukan para Kakitangan Kerajaan yang ditugaskan untuk menjaga Hutan Simpan Kekal (HSK) tersebut dibawa ke muka pengadilan kerana mereka adalah Pengkhianat Negara yang telah membuka jalan kepada para penceroboh melakukan kerja haram berdekad-dekad lamanya.
    4. Sekarang adalah masa yang paling sesuai untuk kita menghukum Para Pengkhianat Negara ini

  4. Durian trees are trees. Why don't just let the trees continue living there and let the undergrowth start growing. Let the forest grow out from these plantation. Let the locals, I mean everyone, to go collect durian during durian season.

    Chipping down the trees me a having to spend money replanting and taking care of the exposed ground for many years. Who is going to pay for it?

    1. Good point. Obviously there is considerable antagonism between the parties and the lack of a compromise. One side want to continue to reap illgotten gains and the other to send a menacing message. Sad, Malaysia today either our crooks or their crooks

  5. There are concerns about global food shortage / crisis/ securty
    Even before this pandemic certain countries are experiencing it
    Here we are chopping down and wasting away
    Sometimes we have to leave our egos at home


  6. So boring. Racial game. Just a political modal, like poor Adib. All blogger pretend to care, pretend to shed tears, now nobody give a shit. All dirty politics. Jijik...hypocrites.

  7. Red fox seemed to plagiarised almost ad verbatim a response to Mariam Mokhtar’s shallow one sided opinion piece in the Malaysia kini.

  8. so whats the hell tis royal durian pahang doing here, tanam jagung? betui musang.

  9. check out 'outsyed the box's' latest piece on this before it disappears. Agree with him on this being a true waste of resources - if you look at the issue without malice. why cut down trees? sad state of affairs in smart discourse on the issue at stake, just a lopsided view pitting one party against another.

  10. Obviously yang tanam tu salah. Tanah haram. Yang makan hasil pun haram. Kalau kita tahu dan makan durian tu pun haram. Haram jadah punya orang yang buat kerja haram ni

    1. Anon 14:10
      Tambah lagi. Dalam dunia ini ada ke penguatkuasa yang benarkan perompak/penipu/penyeludup dll menjual hasil dari perbuatan haram mereka sementara tunggu kes di bicara.
      Bila politik dan isu bangsa masuk dalam kepala si haram jadah yang buat angkara di lihat sebagai mangsa.

    2. as expected, lah. here land can be illegal issit? absolutely no enforcement/oversight all these years, when suddenly the powers that be realized the kind of money the farmers were making, they had to be stopped. see? only one side of the story is articulated. not bothered at all to see the big picture.

    3. derma dari tok arab tak haram.
      magnum toto kuda genting ok.

  11. Corruption is a criminal act. In all cases of bribery the giver is equally guilty as the taker. In most cases of corruption by govt adminstrators , so called anti corruption fighters will lose their sight about this. Yes we must fight and eradicate corruption at all cost. The taker, the giver and those with malice intent to blame only a certain group of people.

  12. I think it is not fair to label these farmers , the same as rapists.We didn't have the full picture of what have happened over the last 20 years and who have been getting what. I doubt the farmers got to enjoy the returns of the fruits without sharing it with many "other people". The govt has to be consistent, morning market traders not allowed in certain areas , yet in same areas roadside stores are allowed while opposite shops have to close. What about the infamous restaurant build on road reserve along Jalan Pantai in KL, near a Bomba station ? Until now, not demolished.Where is the consistency? In my view,the state govt should have keep the trees and find a win win solution. Durians can be collected and the revenues used to pay back the farmers for the trees and money invested and balance used to feed the poors or the white flags, years in years out.

  13. many will be happy. no more "toddy" minum festivals n oktober.
    especally the ABCD very happy

    germany consider relocate factories. is kilang arak karlsber

  14. Aisay Annie...they have been planting in d forest reserve for 20 yrs....forestry officials, rangers etc all deaf dumb n blind. All well fed with illegal gains. Disgusting

  15. Try reading better journalism, lah:

    Then go Google who is Royal Pahang Durian Group.

    Then put 2 and 2 together.

    It's not hard.

    1. its forest reserved so any agriculture work is a big no...i hope DAP can take some of the monkeys that have lose their home to their house

    2. its a forest reserved for musang tak tahu malu yang curi ayam belaan manusia.

  16. Ini bukan sekadar tanam durian sja.. before plantg durian trees need to clear the jungle.. LOGGING.. Hmmm bab ini pun kena investigate. Mana pi hasil jualan balak2 tu semua??

    Jangan potong pokok2 yang dah berbuah tu.. state govt shld rampas dan pajak pokok2 tu. Guna duit tu utk beli mee segera dan sedekahkn kpd asnaf miskin.

    Professor Nasi Lemak

  17. It is an ugly thing to see. Either the felling of trees or the insatiable greed of humans that overtakes their principles and morality. Don't you find their behaviours are just like a musang, which is cunning and likes to steal, that kampong folks hate the most? Hence, they are purely the Musang King. This matter got to be resolved once and for all. All parties that are implicated in the scandalous business must face the music. There is no escaping out of it. Illegal is illegal, whatever the circumstances.

    1. Kapal sudah tenggelam, dan kami sedang lemas, kata mereka, yang menyamakan keadaan Malaysia pada hari ini seperti laporan yang pernah muncul dari Itali tahun lalu dan India awal tahun ini.

      advise : balik rumah tidor aje. besok semua pulih pun bukan dapat apa apa pun. entah entah kontract tak di lanjut

      sibuk dengan musang king yang viet kong boleh "klon"

  18. Hi Aunty, durian tree just don't grow overnight and bear fruits. It take at least 5-6 years. The planters need to clear the "forest reserve", provide drainage, fertilizer etc. Meanwhile, where is the Pahang Forestry Dept for the past 10-20 years? Answer: they have been collecting dues and close one eyes! The land in question was promised during Razak's time, but never given as the Pahang Forestry Dept can collect PRIVATE dues YEARLY! check your history!

    1. This is a forest reserve and it should stays as a forest on a plantation.Whyy the hell are they planting in this reserve.It does not belong to them .Luckly they are are not charged of trespassings or illgotten gains for past 20 odds years.

  19. Two wrongs does not make it right. This durians variety should not be in forest reserve and should be eliminated.