Keep breaking the law, Kelantan govt will extend stop-work order


KOTA BARU: The Kelantan government will not hesistate to lengthen the stop-work order to vegetable farm operators in Lojing highlands, if they persist on breaking the law.

The stop-work order is in effect until Dec 31.

State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Bio-technology committee chairman Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said this showed how concerned the authorities were about the issue especially when it involved the Orang Asli's safety.

The New Straits Times has reported on its frontpage today that the stop-work orders were issued to seven companies that own some 20 farms covering 100ha located uphill from several Orang Asli settlements over fears the farm activities could trigger landslides.

"The state government will not tolerate any farm operators in Lojing highlands who fail to follow the the law.

"For us, the safety of the Orang Asli as well as the environment are important," said Che Abdullah.

He added the state government had ordered all relevant agencies to keep a close watch of things at the highlands.

The firms involved were alleged to have breached regulations on the clearing and planting of vegetables.

A landslide at Kampung Sangwai near Pos Brooke on Nov 21, following heavy rain over several days left the Orang Asli nervous and fearing for their lives.

They lodged a complaint with the Gua Musang District Council, which found that the issue warranted action.

Lojing district and land officer Nik Razak Nik Hassan said the seven companies mostly planted long beans and tomatoes and they had been in business for years.

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