Pahang govt should look into durian land lease policy, says Raub MP after MB's advice to farmers

KUANTAN: A DAP lawmaker has urged the Pahang government to review its land lease policy concerning the durian farm legalisation scheme in Raub in a move to resolve the long-standing durian farmers crisis.

Raub member of parliament Chow Yu Hui reiterated that the Musang King farmers were always open and prepared to hold discussions with the state government to achieve a win-win solution.

Earlier today, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail in a Facebook posting advised the group of Raub farmers who filed a judicial review application against an eviction notice at the Kuantan High Court to reconsider whether to continue or withdraw their application for a review bid.

Chow, who had served as the Tras assemblyman when he began championing the Raub durian issue in 2020, said in the spirit of negotiation, Wan Rosdy who leads the new unity government has to review the land lease policy awarded to Royal Pahang Durian Resources-PKPP Sdn Bhd (RPDR-PKPP).

"The Pahang unity government comprising Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan has just agreed to form the Pahang Unity Government Consultation Council to strengthen the position of the state government. In line with the spirit of consultation and people's wellbeing, the Menteri Besar has to examine the land lease policy and consider the views of Pakatan Harapan to solve the mess.

"The farmers filed the judicial review because they wanted to seek justice and defend their rights in accordance with the law. PH's stand on the Musang King issue has been always consistent whereby the state government has to be considerate to the farmers who have been operating their durian farms for decades.

"The unlicensed farmers had contributed a lot to the durian industry in Malaysia and made Raub the town of Musang King durian popular around the world. Priority has to be given to Pahang natives to become a strategic partner in making the Musang King industry in Pahang a success, and not a corporate firm," he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Chow, who is also the Save Musang King Alliance (Samka) group advisor which comprises of durian farmers without permits in Raub, disclosed that the farmers who began cultivating the disused land to grow durian since the 1960s were prepared to pay the taxes which they owed the state government for decades.

"Many of them have been applying for farming licenses since the 1960s and even the local government had knowledge about their existence (farming activities) but never took any action.

"The conditions imposed by RPDR-PKPP seem to be exploiting the farmers and they cannot accept it. The unreasonable conditions include fixed durian prices and farmers have to sell the majority of their harvest to the private firm that could pave the way for them to monopolise the durian market," he said.

Chow said he welcomed the state government with open arms if they were prepared to hold a dialogue or town hall session with the farmers to work towards a win-win situation.

Earlier, Wan Rosdy had advised Musang King farmers in Sungai Ruan, Sungai Chalit, Sungai Klau and Tranum who are involved with the judicial review application at the Kuantan High Court to consider if they should continue with the review bid as the disputed land is owned by the state government.

In Aug 2020, some 200 durian planters in Raub filed to obtain permission for a judicial review at the Kuantan High Court against a Pahang government order and decision for them to vacate their farms.

In Dec 2020, the Kuantan High Court dismissed the farmers leave applications, ruling that they had no locus standi to file the legal action.

On Sept 9, 2021, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal by the group of farmers against the Kuantan High Court's dismissal of their leave applications for a judicial review

It was previously reported in 2020, that the Samka group claimed that the durian farming land legalisation turmoil was due to a "lopsided" agreement by RPDR-PKPP that violated the farmers' rights.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories