The Perak government is committed to resolving the issue of agricultural squatter claims in a sustainable manner

By Balqis Jazimah Zahari
Photo NSTP

IPOH: The Perak State Government is always committed to taking a compassionate approach in resolving the issues of a group of squatter farmers engaging in unauthorized agricultural activities on the Silver Valley Technology Park (SVTP) project site owned by the Perak State Development Corporation (PKNPk).

The Chief Minister’s Office of Perak, in a statement, mentioned that the allegations of persecution and forced eviction are untrue, as the land clearance process was carried out in accordance within the legal framework, along with the State Government’s continuous commitment to ensuring fair and equitable land resource usage.

“Furthermore, to resolve this ongoing issue that has persisted for over 11 years, the State Government, through PKNPk, has offered an alternative site in Changkat Kinding, which has been designated as an agricultural zone. This initiative also involves collaboration with the Perak State Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC).

“To facilitate an organized relocation process, the State Government has allocated over RM700,000 for the provision of infrastructure, construction of terraced fields for farming, and the establishment of water supply facilities at the respective alternative site,” the statement said.

According to the statement, a site visit to Changkat Kinding was conducted in May last year with the affected squatter farmers, unfortunately, to date, only a small group of them has accepted the offer.

“It is crucial for PKNPk, as the primary driver of Perak’s economy, to realize the high-impact SVTP project to complement the development of the state’s industries, which is expected to create thousands of job opportunities for the people and foster new business opportunities.

“However, as a responsible government that understands the challenges faced by the squatter farmers, the State Government, through PKNPk, continuously opens the door for negotiations to ensure that the resolution through the provision of an alternative site in Changkat Kinding can be jointly realized,” it stated.

The statement further emphasized that the State Government is confident that this issue can be harmoniously resolved with all parties showing responsibility and respecting the principles and integrity of the law.

“In this regard, the State Government always appreciates the role of farmers in ensuring the priority of food security. Furthermore, Perak is the first state to launch the Food Security Action Plan in an effort to make it the nation’s food production hub,” it added.

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