M Nanthakumar (right) handing in the memorandum to Mentri Besar office officer Nurul Shafyqah Yakimin Yuri Yakimin (left) and witnessed by PSM chairman Dr Michel Jeyakumar (middle) at the State Secretariat Building

IPOH: A group of farmers who were told to evacuate from their farms are hoping the Perak government will help them.

According to one farmer, R Dinesh, 33, they received a notice of summons from a company in Kuala Lumpur on June 27.

“A few months before we received the notice, a representative from another company came and told us to pay rent at a hefty amount.

“We were told that the land we have been working since the 1980s now belongs to a company and we are trespassing,” he told reporters at the state secretariat building here on Wednesday (July 26).

Dinesh, who is the third generation of his family to work at the farm, said they have yet to evacuate the land.

“There are at least seven of us working at the farm raising over 1,000 cows and goats. We have no place to go as this is our only source of income,” he said.

Meanwhile another farmer, M Nanthakumar, 48, hopes Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad would reconsider the land status.

“We have repeatedly applied for the licences since 2004 but it was rejected for (various) reasons.

“If the state can reconsider, we are willing to pay the licence fees to the state instead of a third party because the latter would charge us more.

“We are not asking for money, we just want to continue working on the land where we provide meat supply to local markets,” he added.

A memorandum to Saarani was then handed by over Nanthakumar and received by one of the Mentri Besar’s officers, Nurul Shafyqah Yakimin Yuri Yakimin.

PSM chairman Dr Michel Jeyakumar, who accompanied the farmers, said the state government needed to make a wise decision and help them.

“In Malaysia, we have to import nearly 75% of beef to cater for local demand.

“These farmers have been there for more than 30 years. They have the experience and skills to help boost local meat supplies if they are supported by the state government.

“Therefore, we hope Saarani would take a look at this matter and help the farmers,” he said.

Source : The Star Online