Saturday, August 14, 2010
Perak Mentri Besar Zambry Kadir has come under fire for alleged corruption after he gave a 50-acre piece of land worth between RM6 to 8 million to a company owned by an Umno crony.
The news comes amid a storm of Umno and MCA accusations against the DAP for issuing recommendation letters to help businesses win contracts from the Selangor state government.
“This is the biggest joke. Here they just hand over the state’s land to their cronies. Not once have they thought about the aqua farmers who have been toiling the land for more than 20 years,” Teja assemblyman Chang Lih Kang (pix), disclosed.
Unkindest cut, and not the first time
Chang has lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the land in Kampung Sungai Itek in Gopeng, Perak. He has also demanded that Zambry be suspended from the Land Committee and that approval granted to the crony firm is immediately revoked pending investigations.
“This is the unkindest cut of all. Zambry not only ignored the claims of the farmers who have worked on land and contributed to the state’s economy all these years but he actually gave away the land to his cronies. It is a clear case of abuse of power,” said Chang.
The land is currently being cultivated by ornamental fish breeders and farmers, who have for years been applying for land titles from the state authorities but to no avail. When they found out about Zambry’s grant, they complained to their assemblymen.
Chang then raised the matter in the Perak state assembly and a written reply revealed that the land had been given to a company called Safura House of Diamond Sdn Bhd under the state’s Proper Village Planning Plan. A check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia showed that one of Safura’s shareholders is the deputy chief of Umno Gopeng.
“It is actually the second time this sort of shenanigan has taken place. The first scandal also took place in Kampung Sungai Itek, where the UMNO Gopeng division chief was given 10 lots of land in the planned village scheme,” said Chang.
More farmers are being evicted
He warned that if the federal authorities ignored the charges against Zambry and if the MACC delayed taking action, more farmers would be expelled from the land.
“Their livelihood will be badly affected. It is the duty of the government to care for the people and not grab their land from them and give to their friends and families,” Chang said.
"Through the years, the farmers in Sungai Itek have invested a lot of their savings and if they are evicted, they will have nothing. Even if Zambry offers compensation, the water quality might not be suitable for fishes. So what is going on, where are the priorities?”
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