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YOURSAY | Hard work of durian farmers ‘rewarded’ with unfair deal

YOURSAY | ‘The law is misused to create wealth not for benefit of the masses but for an elite group…’

Roadblock stops unlicensed Raub durian growers from entering farms

PurpleMoose5046: This is shameful of you, Royal Pahang Durian Resources and Pahang State Agriculture Development Corporation.

Your acts are denying the durian farmers of their harvest. Their applications for the land their durian trees are planted on has been denied or ignored by the Pahang land office for many years.

Their sweat, hard work and labour which has been put into durian farming cannot be disputed or ignored. They have successfully put Raub on the world map as Malaysia’s musang king durian producer.

We are proud of these hardworking durian farmers. They do not deserve to be treated unkindly with lopsided deals or bullied by large corporations. Where is the justice?

Prudent: The farmers alleged that the state government had asked them to open up and cultivate the land with the promise of land titles afterwards.

Now, when the land has been brought to a level of profitable production, the state government gave the title to the land to someone else. This is akin to daylight robbery by the state government.

The trees still belonged to the farmers. If they take the trees as well, they must compensate the farmers for the trees at a fair price. If not, the farmers can sue for compensation.

Mugi: It is not easy to grow a durian tree, especially the "manja" (pampered) species like D24 and musang king.

It takes a lot of hard work and sweat to ensure the trees grow and subsequently bear fruits. Generally, it takes about eight years minimum for a good durian tree to bear fruits.

Currently, I am planting an ASFA50 in my house compound and after more than six months, it hardly grows except producing more leaves.

Since the tree is in my ‘backyard’, I give it manure, water, compost, and more but despite all my efforts, its height has not changed. The plant is not cheap. I paid RM150 for it.

Hence, for the Raub durian farmers, they must have worked extremely hard to see their trees mature. And the land is not next to their house.

Just Thinking Aloud: The land that the farmers illegally occupied was leased to corporations to "legalise" the land?

The Pahang state government could have leased the land to the farmers instead since they have been cultivating the land for decades.

Is not the leasing of the land to corporations a backdoor way to reap what other people sow?

MW: A just government can either charge a fee plus windfall tax to legalise the farmers’ operations or reclaim the land and destroy the illegally-planted crops.

The fact that they set up a middleman to profit from mature crops at a time the demand for said crops is booming, all at the expense of the farmers' toils, is not just, no matter the legal justification.

Pakcik Am: Occupying state land when the land is allocated to someone else is illegal. Occupying state land to cultivate it is not illegal if the land is not reserved for others.

The state must give the land to the people who cultivated the state land. That has been practised all these years.

Mafeeah: Instead of facilitating agriculture, business growth, economic activities, jobs, ready-made markets, and prosperity in exchange for tax revenue, the government of the day does the exact opposite to kill off businesses not owned by "them".

Sayonara MY: Why must the state bring in a separate company to force the farmers to sell to them at a deflated price? If it is government land, just lease the land to the farmers and leave them alone.

All this hanky-panky of having a company to buy the durians at a deflated price borders on private individuals making money for themselves. The money doesn’t go to the state government, it goes into their pockets.

Tell me how will the state government benefit from this ‘daylight robbery’ by these individuals?

Odysseus: How can we support the farmers in Raub? Let's start a campaign to boycott musang king durians from this company. #boycottMSK

Love Malaysia.1548751098052: @Odysseus, how to boycott? Durian fruits don’t have any identifiable marks on them. Moreover, most of the durians are supposed to be exported to China.

VioletZebra1195: I am against this ‘daylight robbery’ by the Pahang government but I also don’t have any sympathy for these illegal durian farmers.

If the Pahang government is serious about fighting deforestation, just seize the land and let it recover as a natural forest instead of trying to profit from this.

I Will Keep My Promise: In a parallel universe, there seems to be an upcoming phase 2 where licensed farmers must sell all of their produce to the middleman at a "fair" price set by the middleman, and finally, as there is only one road leading in and out of the orchards, farmers must apply for a per trip licence to transport their produce out for delivery to the middleman.

PurpleJaguar0553: This is Malaysia where a certain group have the proclivity to make money without having to toil and riding on others’ hard work and ingenuity.

Rent-seeking without adding any value is nothing but a naked and gross exploitation of another’s efforts.

Why should anyone invest in Malaysia when they are forced to have to earn a living for others? The law is being misused to create wealth not for the benefit of the masses but for an elite group.

Raja Chulan: Stealing from the labour of others is not something anyone would condone and it is definitely not sustainable in the long run. This incident will have a huge impact on our national image and economy.

Previously, we had the police, civil servants, ministers, and even our former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak found guilty of stealing. Now with this incident, it appears that stealing is indeed institutionalised in our beloved ‘Bolehland’.

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