Aliran strongly condemns the move by the Kinta district land office to forcefully evict six farmers in Kanthan in Tambun, Perak today and the impending destruction of farmland, including the cultivated crops.
The arrests of four members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) – chairperson Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, committee member R Kathiges, Perak youth wing member P Kesavan and farmer Ho Pon Tien – who were part of the protest were totally unnecessary. So too the injury caused to PSM central committee member Chong Yee Shan, who was shoved to the ground.
It is a shameful episode for the Perak state government and the agencies involved.
This is a land dispute which must be sorted out fairly and peacefully. These farmers have worked on the land for decades and among the major food producers in Perak.
There had been an understanding between the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) and the farmers. The farmers are willing to cooperate and move to a suitable alternative site, but this has not worked out. Instead, the farmers are facing eviction under Section 425 of the National Land Code.
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Memorandums were sent to the Perak chief minister, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu and, more recently, the PM.
With food security being such an important issue for Malaysia, surely alternative land for industrial use – if this indeed is the intended use – can be found in Perak. Why evict farmers who have been farming productively and feeding the nation?
We cannot help but ask what the “Madani” (Civil) government is doing. It is all very well to be eloquent about human rights abuses abroad or on the international stage. But it is equally important to handle what’s going on in one’s own backyard! The plight of the Kanthan farmers cannot go unheeded.
Aliran calls for:
- a halt on all forced evictions of farmers from their land
- a peaceful and just solution to be negotiated within a reasonable a timeframe
- the immediate release of all those arrested
Aliran executive committee
24 October 2023