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Sabah government practising double standards August 1, 2007

Posted by wong jimmy in Land, Uncategorized.
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Sungai Mantri farmers plea to let them harvest the oil palms they had planted.Mantri

Is Sabah government through the Forestry Department, practicing double standards? 

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Tawau branch feels the government is practicing double standard by saying the small scale local farmers in Nagos Forest Reserve, Semporna are illegal, but then legalized it to a company.

Isn’t reserves meant out of bounds for anyone and nobody can apply for the land.

I question the government, in the case of Nagos Forest Reserve, Semporna, why a company Syarikat Warisan Jaya Makmur Sdn Bhd can be made legal to do clearing, planting, maintaining and harvesting of oil palm.

The area of about 2,000 acres was first originally occupied and developed by locals in the 70s. They had planted cocoa, oil palm, fruit trees and other cash crops, but the area was taken over by the Forestry Department on August 2006 and the original developers were called encroachers and chased out even though they are the one who planted, maintained and harvest in the first place.

They were called illegal, but now a company doing the same thing is doing it legally. I ask the government isn’t this double standards.Through the Forestry Department, the company was granted Occupation Permit (OP) so it do clearing, planting, maintaining and harvesting of oil palm, but why can’t the same OP be granted to the original genuine farmers in the first place.

Is it because there are some influential people who have interest in the company that was appointed by the Forestry Department.

The people and DAP wants an explanations from the government.

In the case of Sungai Mantri, the government should not call these genuine 314 farmers of Sungai Mantri, Ulu Kalumpang, Kunak, illegal forest squatters because they opened and developed the land when it was still state land and with no objections from any relevant department 1979.

It’s the government who had encroached as when it did the re-mapping for the Forestry Department it never went down to the field and checked whether the area had already been developed and only waiting for Land Application approval. Instead the government should thank these farmers for developing the logged area which is not producing back then and transformed it into and agriculture land producing oil palm which in turn is helping to boost the country’s oil palm production and economy.

The government through the 9th Malaysian Plan had encouraged its rakyat to go into agriculture and these farmers in Ulu Kalumpang, Andrassy, Nagos and even Sebatik had done so earlier back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, so why is the government turning its back on them when they needed the government support now.

It’s the government who cheated these small scale farmers and planters by giving them hope and promises, or else the farmers would not have gone into the land and start cultivating,

If this happen also to the Sungai Mantri, Ulu Kalumpang, 314 farmers in Kunak, where an individual company is given all rights to plant, maintain and harvest, then it confirms that the government through the forestry is practicing double standards.

On Sunday, July 29, 2007 frustrated, the farmers of Sungai Mantri, Ulu Kalumpang (Kunak), Andrassy (Tawau) and Nagos (Semporna) held peaceful protest and demanded they be allowed to enter and harvest their oil palm fruits.

A same scenario as Nagos, the farmers of Sungai Mantri, Ulu Kalumpang cultivated the they opened the area about 4,725 acres in 1979, when it was a state land and planted cocoa before changing to oil palm in 1993 and all the trees are already producing. However, in 1984 the area was gazette under the forest reserved and they were told to leave the are and not allow to harvest the oil palm fruits.

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Comments»

1. angel - August 2, 2007

Something smell very FISHY here. I hope no one is abusing their powers or playing God father.


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