KUANTAN: A group of smallholders from Cameron Highlands called off their protest in Putrajaya after Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob agreed to hear their grouses.
In a meeting that lasted over two hours, Adnan listened to complaints pertaining to land, housing and stalls from 10 families.
The smallholders were seeking temporary occupation licences, low-cost houses and a proper site for their stalls on the land which they had settled on for three generations.
“I sympathise with their plight and will try my best to help them but I cannot promise anything as I will be lying if I failed to resolve their problems,” Adnan said.
He said the process was cruel as they could not get the licence due to the freeze imposed in 2002.
“If we do not stop giving out the licences, there will be no more land and forest left in Cameron Highlands. Everywhere I look, there are only farms.
But we can consider the requests from these settlers because they have been staying there for so long. I am really saddened by their predicament,” he said.
Adnan said the problems facing these settlers would be brought up and discussed at the next exco meeting on April 18.
He added that he would visit Cameron Highlands at the end of the month to gauge the problems himself.
Cameron Highlands PSM secretary Suresh Kumar, who represented the residents, said the meeting was a big step forward in getting their problems resolved.
“We have tried to get the government to hear us for two years and finally the Mentri Besar has agreed to see us personally. We are willing to assist him when he visits us at the end of April,” he said.
They had initially planned to camp out in Putrajaya until they could get a response from the Prime Minister.
Source; Star Property