Sunday, May 15, 2011

RM2 shelf company given 1,500-acre land

Humayun Kabir | May 15, 2011-FMT

Company is tasked with collecting a potential RM630,000 annually from small time farmers in Tronoh, Perak.

IPOH: The state DAP has questioned the Perak State Secretariat Incorporated for giving 1,500 acres of former mining land in Tronoh to a RM2 shelf company.

The company stands to collect an annual rent of RM630,000 based on a monthly rental of RM35 per acre from small time farmers who have been cultivating the land for 40 years.

Pasir Pinji assemblyperson Thomas Su told FMT that a search of the company, Budi Bumi Sdn Bhd, at the Registrar of Companies, found the RM2 shell company was set up in 2009.

Currently there are 15 farmers occupying about 600 acres of this mining land and they approached Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan for help over the matter today.

According to Fong, the mainly Chinese farmers have been cultivating vegetables, livestock and rearing fish and have been contributing to the food industry.

“The federal government is giving priority to the food industry in the country whereas the state government is not giving any consideration to these farmers,” said Fong.

“Instead they choose to give the contract to this RM2 shell company which has demanded one year upfront monthly rental at RM35 per acre which works up to RM21,000 a year.”

Thomas asked: “What is the need for this upfront advance of RM21,000 from these small-time farmers, which will be a huge financial burden?”

According to him, the 15 farmers wishing to sign lease agreements for either a 30 or 60 year period with this company, have to pay the deposit upfront.

He also questioned the credentials of this company to collect such a huge amount and what guarantee was there that the sum will be refunded to the farmers if they shift elsewhere.

“Why can’t the state government help these farmers who have cultivated the mining land and made productive for so long.

“Malaysia spends about RM2 billion annually to import food and we can save the outflow of our currency by giving out more state land for food cultivation,” he added.

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