Saya suka membaca apa sahaja berkaitan dengan Cameron Highlands dan info serta fakta yang dikongsikan selalunya menjadi rujukan saya.
Antaranya dari YB Adun Tanah rata ini:
Q&A about the Issue of Illegal Land Grabbing in Cameron Highlands District
By Chiong Yoke Kong (ADUN Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang)
1) Illegal land grabbing in Cameron Highlands is allegedly getting prevalent to the extent that the nature is affected as there is no serious monitoring?
In Cameron Highlands District, there are more than 2000 farmers involved in farming. Blaming solely the farmers is unfair because only some individuals are involved in illegal land grabbing.
Secondly, after Ops Gading was conducted in 2014, as wide as 5,580 acres of land encroached and occupied illegally had been identified, and action had been taken on 4,675 acres (83.73%) of it. No farmers dared to involve themselves in illegal land grabbing in Cameron Highlands after that.
In addition, the agricultural sector is entering hard times recently and therefore small farmers are unable to open up new farms. Apart from that, the accusation that no supervision has been conducted is incorrect because District and Land Office (Pejabat Daerah dan Tanah) Cameron Highlands has tools that are advanced enough to identified illegal land grab.
If illegal land grabbing really happened, Pihak Berkuasa Negeri and Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan that have power over land matters should be investigated instead.
2) Is farming the main factor of landslides in Cameron Highlands?
If we look at the locations of the recent landslides, farming in Cameron Highlands is not the main factor of landslides. After Ops Gading was conducted, land grabbing has stopped whereas houses and commercial buildings are built rapidly.
It is found that many constructions did not follow the Hillslope Development Guideline released by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Geologically Cameron Highlands was formed by a granite batholith intruding into the older sedimentary rocks. Low soil pH (acidic) of all the slopes examined decreased iron oxide content of soil which acted as a cementing agent to soil aggregates.
This has caused the soil aggregate to become weaker and easier eroded, particularly during monsoon seasons.
3) Why don't the locals have confidence on Ops Gading?
Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Peringkat Tertinggi Tindakan Bersama Pemulihan Cameron Highlands Bil.1/2017 chaired by the former Deputy Prime Minister and former Pahang Chief Minister on March 7, 2017 had decided the following:
I. To support the Pahang State Government's in granting Temporary occupation licence (TOL) to famers who, for more than 10 years, have been cultivating their lands that are not exceeding 5 acres.
II. Pejabat Daerah dan Tanah Cameron Highlands has received 1,153 applications for TOL. Out of them, only 197 applications have been approved, 327 applications are still in process whereas 629 applications are unsuccessful as the lands are either near Sg. Terla water catchment area, overlapping with forest reserves, or Malay reserve lands applied by non-Malay applicants. The unsuccessful applicants are advised to apply for TOL for lands that are not against the law.
III. A total of 66 applications, of which for more than 30 years the farmers have been cultivating lands at the area of 573-acres forest reserved land, are in the process of assessment and subsequent approval by Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri Pahang.
However, the decisions have not been delivered by Pihak Berkuasa until today.
I. Based on the observation by ADUN Tanah Rata office, there is no illegal farmers who have been cultivating their lands for 10 years and that below 5 acres have obtained TOL from Pihak Berkuasa Negeri.
II. Although the report shows that 197 TOL applications are approved, no farmers successfully obtained any letter of approval from Pihak Berkuasa Negeri and what's more for other applications that are said to being assessed. Farm relocation failed to be carried out by Pihak Berkuasa Negeri, and many small farmers have not received TOL as promised.
III. Same situation whereby no applications are approved by PBN until today. Hence, Ops Gading is seen as a failed operation which did not help the local residents but left various negative effects to the farming activities in Cameron Highlands.
4) Why are the local residents afraid of Ops Gading?
The land policies in Cameron Highlands are still disorganized, unplanned and in complete disorder.
Farmers who have been working for 10 years have not obtained TOLs as promised in Ops Gading. Majority of the farmers did not obtain TOL renewal in short period of time and, for most of the time, are facing delays from 3 to 5 years.
This problem has been worrying farmers because the status of their farms is inactive. There are farms with TOL and has been cultivated for 10 years and above, but are suddenly changed to Forest Reserve Land or Malay Reserve Land. The involved farmers are expelled while relocation is not carried out. Besides that, the army fully equipped with firearms will surely scare the people. Farmers also feel humiliated as there are likened to terrorists or enemies of the country.
5) Should Ops Gading be continued?
I support all efforts of ensuring sustainable farming and tourism in Cameron Highlands and agrees to take actions against illegal land grabbing that are done in the recent 10 years.
Nevertheless, I do not agree that Ops Gading should continue as this operation has already tarnished the image of the extremely corrupt Barisan Nasional government before May 9, 2018.
The special coordinated operation has to be rebranded. Methods used by the operation has to be studied again.
Military equipped with firearms should not be involved in the operation as we can instruct Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (APM) to conduct monitoring visits on the ground.