Hello friends! As Malaysians, we take pride in our local fruits, especially durian. It is the kind of luxury that only certain countries can enjoy. And we get to savour these delicious local harvests every year thanks to our hardworking farmers. However, recently, videos of Musang King farmers cutting down their own trees have been circling around social media. What is going on exactly?
Protesting Incoming Land Takeover
According to MalayMail, RPDP-PKPP, a joint venture between Royal Pahang Durian Group (RPD Group) and Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Negeri Pahang (PKPP), has been planning to build and operate Malaysia’s largest durian processing center in Raub by June 2021.
After being awarded with the lease and right to use 5,357 acres of land in Raub by the Pahang State Government, RPDP-PKPP claimed that the land has been illegally used by durian farmers. Thus designed a contract that would require farmers to pay ‘rent’ of RM6,000 per acre for this year. With an additional charge of up to RM20,000 per acre based on the durians produced.
In addition, stated in the contract that durian farmers will be required to sell a fixed amount of durians harvested to the private company every year. Making things worse, farmers are banned from trading the fruit freely or saving them to be shared with family and friends.
Decades Of Unsuccessful Attempt To Own The Ochard Legally
This is causing an uprise among farmers who formed a protesting group called the Save Musang King Alliance (Samka). Disproving the statement of being illegal farmers, Samka claimed that they have been applying for land titles and licenses for years but to no success.
Taking Matters To Their Own Hands
Some durian farmers decided to cut off their own trees so that the joint ventures will not have their way. The activity was recorded in a few videos. Said by a farmer in one of the video, “We don’t want the trees anymore. You can tell them to plant the trees themselves all over again“.
Don’t Take Drastic Actions
Aiming to calm the storm, Tras assemblyman Chow Yu Hui, decided to step in and advised farmers to refrain from taking drastic actions, this includes cutting down trees. “The durian trees are from years of hard work and slogging so do not give up easily without going the extra mile to overturn the decision,” He said when interviewed by New Straits Times. In any case, we hope that the matter will be dissolved peacefully. Because we still want our durian next year!
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