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MIC will help some 60 farmers in Cameron Highlands who were evicted. -NSTP/Muhaizan Yahya

KUANTAN: MIC wants to bring about the reinstatement of an interim court injunction that would halt the Pahang government’s enforcement operations on illegal farms in Kuala Terla, Cameron Highlands.

The party is seeking to assist some 60 farmers who are being evicted.

The farmers had obtained the interim injunction order dated March 11 from the Kuantan High Court.

However, the plaintiffs withdrew their suit on Sept 30.

State MIC chief V. Arumugam said, during the party’s central working committee (CWC) meeting today, party president Tan Sri S. Vigneswaran had highlighted measures to help the farmers.

“Firstly, a legal team will assist the farmers to reinstate the stay order which the plaintiffs had previously withdrawn,” said the Pahang MIC chairman. “Some have claimed that it was MIC who had instructed the farmers to withdraw the suit, but the party did not give any instructions.

“Secondly, we will identify farmers operating on temporary occupation licences (TOL) in Kuala Terla and try to obtain a replacement land for those whose TOL have been renewed as an alternative site for farming activities.

“Our aim is to ensure they will be able to continue farming and earn a livelihood,” he said when contacted today.

“We went to Kuala Terla yesterday (Monday) hoping that the farmers would be able to get some time extension to collect their vegetables, fruits and flowers... some were ready for harvest.

“Some have their infrastructure and farming tools kept in the stores at the farms so they require time to bring them out... we did not have any other intention.

“The MIC team was on the ground in Kuala Terla merely to assist the farmers to remove their belongings and try to delay the demolition process.

“Each farmer has at least about five people depending on them so this is not only about the farmers alone, but their families and children,” he said.

Asked about his decision to resign as the Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail’s special officer on Indian affairs, Arumugam said he along with the 11 MIC members sitting in local authorities across the state, were representing the Indian community and there was no point in holding the positions if they could not help those who were in need.”

The state government has insisted that its enforcement actions against illegal encroachment by the farmers in Kuala Terla near Sungai Ichat were in compliance with the law.

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