“It is the illegal land clearing that has been giving a big problem to the State”.
Berikut ialah kenyataan media oleh Menteri Besar Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob, sebagai reaksi kepada laporan berita oleh New Straits Times (NST) keluaran Jumaat, 14 November, tulisan Encik Haris Hussain di bawah tajuk ‘How the highlands lost to a letter...’
WHERE HAVE THE FOREIGN ILLEGAL WORKERS GONE?... As raids been mounted by the law enforcers, this machine is left idle so is this piece of land meant to grow vegetables on it.
Alamaya, INDERA MAHKOTA 5, KUANTAN – “As in my press conference last week that sparked off controversy between me and Utusan Melayu, I again welcome any fair reporting on any subject matter in Pahang as it is the policy of the State Government to be open and transparent and be receptive to fair criticism.
“I strongly welcome any constructive criticism that can help the state to improve and enhance the efficiency of its government machinery.
“With regard to the development in Cameron Highlands, the State has never experienced any critical problem relating to planned development.
“Planned development refers to those schemes or projects – whether government or private, which are approved by the relevant authorities, the highest being the State Authority (the State Executive Council) based upon detailed study by the various technical committees.
“It is the illegal land clearing that has been giving a big problem to the State. The illegally land clearing relates to illegal cultivation. The illegal cultivation has become more rampant due to the availability of cheap foreign labour.
THE STATE GOVERNMENT LACKS MANPOWER AND FACILITIES
“The State has no means to curb this widespread illegal cultivation as it lacks manpower and facilities to do so. Moreover, the operation involves security matters by nature.
“The root cause of the destruction of Cameron Highlands is the illegal land cultivation supported by the easily available foreign workers both legal and illegal. You cut this cord (that is the influx of foreign workers), you (will get to) solve much of the problem.
“With the recent adoption of the concerted effort approach by the Federal Government, this problem of illegal cultivation can hopefully be effectively addressed and possibly solved.
“Based on the Immigration Department records, there are 11,016 legal immigrants in Cameron Highlands. The operation to nab the illegal immigrants so far has netted only 190 illegal immigrants. The figure of 30,000 illegal immigrants might have been excessively bloated.
“I need to clarify on the report saying that the root cause of the so-called problem in Cameron Highlands is the involvement of ‘yellow letters’ from the Palace Officials. This is not true and not fair to these officials.
… IN THE END, THE STATE AUTHORITY DECIDES
“The real scenario is this. Its only normal for many applicants to get testimonials and recommendations from whom they think they can lend some form of support to their applications.
“The Palace Officials are merely doing their duty just like a State Assemblyman, a Penghulu or a Village Head. As the Menteri Besar I can assure, all decisions made by the State Authority are based on merit, justice and fairplay.
“Testimonials and recommendations from all including Palace Officials, are looked into but in the end, the State Authority will decide based on merits and reasonableness.
“I welcome NST’s Haris Hussain suggestion that we need to have an Auditing System whereby we need to tally the development of land against what are set in the development plan.
“All this while, we have the local plans in every District Council in which areas of land uses by category in every District Council are identified and marked. All development programs need to tally with the said Local Plans.
THANKING THE PRESS
“Perhaps, with the Auditing System as suggested, we can improve further.
“I must thank the Press for highlighting the problem in Cemeron Highlands. The positive and constructive ideas expressed by the Press can be inputs for us to improve and enhance further our service to the people”. – Khabar