Development in an idyllic hillside setting in Cameron Highlands has turned the lives of Green Cow farmers topsy-turvy.
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: It was an idyllic peaceful setting on the upper reaches of Cameron Highlands. At 1,620 metres, the residents in this tiny hamlet called Green Cow grew vegetables and herded cows and goats.
The seven families who have been tending the land for more than 40 years now live in fear that they will lose their home to development.
Two developers, LTT Development Sdn Bhd and Ng Yeet Ng, have earmarked the place to develop 75 units of shoplots and apartments.
The seven families are not giving up without a fight. The farmers opposing the development have set up camp on the hill to stop the developers from encroaching into their farms.
S Kamaladevi,56, a Green Cow resident for the past 45 years, says she and the other familes have been affected socially and economically.
“All my three children had to quit their jobs to ensure the safety of my home,” she said.
Her son S Nagarajan was a tour guide who has since quit his job due to the development on the hill.
Aside from that, there is also the danger of landslide washing her home since earth moving activities have exposed many large boulders in the area.
Several months ago, a large boulder had rolled down the hill and stopped by the road side. It has since been destroyed.
Police ask for goat’s birth cert
Farmers’ livelihood in Green Cow are also affected as their farms are taken away by force and the police have not taken any action.
“In March this year, the developer used gangsters armed with weapons to break my goat shed while I was away.
“From 200 goats, I now have 35 only. I have incurred losses of RM30,000. When I lodged a police report, the police asked me the brand of the gun that was used and whether I had birth certificates for the goats,” he said.
Marapan, Nagarajan, S Suresh, along with Cameron Highlands PSM secretary B Suresh Kumar had lodged a police report on Monday to urge the police to stop siding with LTT Development.
Their lawyers are also in the process of filing counter injunction to stop land-moving work until the case is heard and decided in Kuantan High Court.
They locals also failed to get an assurance for a proper housing from MIC president G Palanivel. In fact, when they had gone to Palanivel’s office on Wednesay, they were treated rudely by an aide to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“He told us to let them do their job and not disturb them. Our point is this, Palanivel and Pahang Menteri Adnan Yaakob had announced that this problem has been resolved and that new plots of land will be given to the families.
“We have sent two letters dated Aug 14 and 29 for a meeting but there was no reply,” said PSM’s Suresh.