PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj who has been at the forefront in the struggle to ensure food security for the country has apparently been arrested alongside three others (two party members and a farmer) for mooting a stand-off with the Ipoh Land and Mines Office (PTG) enforcement officers and the police.
This came about as the four of them resisted the attempt by the authorities to evict forcefully farmers who cultivated in the said area which falls under the Tambun parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim without proper compensation.
Apart from Dr Jeyakumar, 68, the other three are PSM members Karthiges Manickam, 42, and Kesavan Parvathy, 30, and farmer Ho Pon Tien, 53.
“During their ambush into the farm area in the morning, the PTG officers violently pushed aside Comrade Chong Yee Shan (central committee member of PSM) causing her to fall and break her teeth,” revealed PSM secretary-general A. Sivarajan in a WhatsApp update of the stand-off that started this morning.
“She was bleeding badly but the officers ignored her and kept pushing forward to demolish the farmlands.”
There are over 200 farmers growing various food crops that serve the local market and residents in the Kanthan area. Since 2012, these farmers were promised lease agreements by the Perak State Development Board at an alternative location in the Perak Hi-Tech Park.
“They were offered replacement land of two acres to be leased for a period of 30 years. But the Perak state government failed to carry out this promise and have now resorted to forcefully evict the farmers using Section 425 of the National Land Code,” claimed Sivarajan.
“Why evict productive farmers when they have applied for the land, waited patiently to comply with state government offer for alternative land? It was the Perak State that failed to relocate them.
“Where is the state government commitment to food security? Dr Jeyakumar has forwarded memorandums to the Perak Menteri Besar, Agriculture and Food Security Minister and the PM himself but eviction still took place today!”
Added Sivarajan: “We demand immediate intervention by the PM to resolve the matter by ensuring productive famers are guaranteed land rights to continue farming and ensuring food security for the nation. Moreover, Kanthan is located in his very own parliamentary constituency.” – Oct 24, 2023