Help us, farmers appeal to Perak footballers given their land as reward

This group of farmers in Ulu Chemor, Hulu Kinta, has been cultivating the state land for over four decades but are upset it is being taken away from them.

PETALING JAYA: A group of farmers is urging the Perak football team to come to their rescue after they were issued eviction notices by the state government which plans to grant the soccer players their plots of land as gifts.

In an open letter, the farmers — who own 2-5 acres (0.8ha to 2ha) each — said their families had been tilling the land in Ulu Chemor, Hulu Kinta, for over four decades and it was their only source of income.

They said they were shocked when they received a notice from the Kinta Land Office on July 5, ordering them to move out within 14 days or risk a RM500,000 fine or a jail term of up to five years.

The farmers said they had no objections to the footballers being presented with land in appreciation of the team’s excellent performance.

But they wondered why it had to be their land.

“It’s not as if we have other plots of land that we can cultivate.

“We are small farmers, not big commercial farmers with tens of acres of land each.”

The farmers went on to say that they had sent a letter to the menteri besar yesterday, appealing to him to utilise a small portion of the land alienated to government-owned companies like Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak (PKNP), MB Inc and Perak State Secretary Incorporated (SSI) to reward these football players.

On May 3, Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu had awarded land to 39 Perak footballers and officials for winning the Malaysia Cup final last year against Terengganu.

“We sincerely hope that you, the victorious Perak footballers, will support our appeal and ask the MB to call off this eviction exercise,” the farmers pleaded.