Dato’ Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir today gave the Pomelo Farmers of Tambun an ‘ang pow’ they will treasure for generations to come.
On January 30 2009 Zambry announced that the state government would be granting the farmers 99-year leases to their land. His announcement was greeted with cheers by the farmers present. As an added sweetener Zambry announced that the farmers would be exempted from back payment of land premiums.
This exemption was granted at the request by both Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadziah, Member of Parliament for Tambun and YB Dato’ Rusnah Kassim, State Assemblywoman for Ulu Kinta. Both Husny and Rusnah had vouched that the farmers had responsibly toiled the land and had contributed to making the pomelo synonymous with the state of Perak.
Pomelo’s or known commonly as ‘Limau Bali’ has been grown around Tambun town for over 2 generations. Due to the quality of the fruit it has become a tourist attraction and busloads of tourists stop over at Tambun each week to savour the fruit. However the land where the fruit is grown had always been classified as ‘Temporary Occupation Licence’ which was a concern by the orchard owners who began lobbying for a permanent title over 20 years ago.
An initial total of 62 farmers covering 115 acres will benefit from this gesture by the state government. According to Zambry there are additional orchards which are eligible but their details have not yet been finalised. Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadziah, who is also the Finance Minister 2, confirmed that the farmers would be able to receive their titles within 3 months after submitting their application.
Long time farmer Mr Chow Sun, 74, who is also the Chairman of the Tambun Pomelo Farmers Association, was very happy with the announcement. “I have been growing pomeloes since my father’s time which is over 80 years ago. For close to 30 years we have been asking for the land and today we have finally been granted our request”.
When all the euphoria of the morning had quietened down one could hear sighs of ‘at last’ and ‘finally’ being mentioned signalling an end to a drawn-out battle between the growers and the authorities. An end that brings joy to both parties, especially the growers.