Since early this morning Kanthan, Perak farmers in the parliamentary constituency Tambun of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim have been in a standoff with land and mines office enforcement officers from Ipoh and the police attempting to evict them forcefully.
During their ambush into the farm area in the morning, the enforcement officers violently pushed aside Chong Yee Shan, a central committee members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), causing her to fall and break her teeth. She was bleeding badly but the officers ignored her and kept pushing forward to demolish the farmland
Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, the PSM chairperson, has been at the forefront of the struggle to ensure food security for the country. In the Kanthan area, some 200 farmers are growing various food crops serving the local market and residents.
Since 2012 these farmers were promised lease agreements by the Perak State Development Board, Perbadanan Kerajaan Negeri Perak, at an alternative location named Perak Hi-Tech Park. They were offered replacement land of two acres to be leased over 30 years.
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But the Perak government failed to fulfil this promise and have now resorted to forcefully evicting the farmers using Section 425 of the National Land Code.
Why evict productive farmers, when they have applied for the land and waited patiently to comply with the state government’s offer of alternative land? It was the Perak state that failed to relocate them. Where is the state government’s commitment to food security?
Jeyakumar has many times forwarded memorandums to the Perak chief minister, the agriculture and food security minister and the PM himself. But the evictions still took place today!
PSM condemns this highhanded action by the Perak state government on farmers who feed the people.
We demand that those arrested be immediately released.
- Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, 68
- Karthiges Manickam, 42
- Ho Pon Tien, 53
- Kesavan Parvathy, 30
We demand the immediate intervention of the PM himself, as this is his parliamentary constituency, to resolve the matter and ensure productive farmers are guaranteed land rights to continue farming and to ensure food security for the nation.
A Sivarajan is secretary general of PSM