KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should not use strong arm tactics in its enforcement to destroy the farms in Bertam Valley, Cameron Highlands, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
This, he said, would not send a good message to the grassroots.
On Tuesday, about 400 farmers in Bertam Valley blocked the main road for three hours to stop enforcement officers from tearing down their farms to make way for a road project.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Pahang state executive council member Datuk Hoh Khai Mun later arrived at the scene and asked the enforcement officers to stop their operations.
Tanah Rata state assemblyman Ho Yip Kap had said that about 110 farms were located on a piece of land in Bertam Valley earmarked for the construction of a 79km federal road from Bertam Valley to Kuala Lipis.
Dr Chua said the MCA had set up a committee, headed by Liow, to study the report submitted by the Cameron Highlands Farmers Association.
The committee will study how the measures suggested in the report can be implemented – so that there will be a more holistic approach to increasing vegetable cultivation and to resolving land problems in Cameron Highlands.
Dr Chua said the party had also appointed a consultant to assist the committee. The committee was expected to submit its findings in a month’s time.
“We will then present it to the state government and the Federal Government,” he told reporters after chairing the party presidential council meeting at a hotel here yesterday.
On another issue, Dr Chua said the Government should seriously look into the wishes of the people of Johor on the construction of a bridge to replace the Johor Causeway.
“A new bridge will definitely expedite communication between the people of the two nations as well as promote trade, investment and tourism,” he said.
On the proposed abolition of UPSR and PMR examinations, he said the MCA education bureau under Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong would conduct town-hall meetings in major towns and seek the opinion of professional bodies.
The feedback would be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister.
On party matters, Dr Chua said MCA would organise an economic congress on Aug 14 themed “Chinese Community in Realising the New Economic Model and to Achieve the 10th Malaysia Plan.”
“We feel that Chinese businessmen have a big role to play, especially in attracting investment and to ensure our economy remains competitive,” he said.
THE STAR (Thursday July 1, 2010)