The Pahang state government will cease operations against illegal vegetable farms at the Kuala Terla water catchment area in Cameron Highlands for three days until tomorrow, according to Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
Speaking after a cheque presentation ceremony yesterday, Wan Rosdy (above) said the grace period was given to allow the occupants time to dismantle their farms.
"There were requests from those (farmers) involved for them to be given a chance to dismantle their farms on the illegally occupied lands.
"So three days were given so that things on the land will not be destroyed, they can take it out to sell [...] the state government has agreed that there will be no operations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday," said Wan Rosdy, as quoted by a state media outlet and shared on his official website.
The enforcement operation, dubbed "Ops Lestari 2" - taken under Section 425(1) of the National Land Code 1965 for occupying government land without permission since 2009 - was jointly carried out by the Pahang Land Office, police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU).
Seven people, including former Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan, were arrested on Dec 23 during a sit-in protest over the enforcement action.
In September, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah reportedly visited the illegal farms encroaching the water catchment area near Sungai Ichat.
The king then called on all quarters to immediately stop illegal encroachment in the water catchment area.
The Pahang government previously defended the enforcement action, stating that it was in the interest of the public.
Pahang state secretary Sallehuddin Ishak had said there were a total of 48 illegal encroachment sites covering 121ha of land.