A video showing an operation to destroy crops on state-owned land in Cameron Highlands has been circulating on social media, including the WhatsApp application, since late last month, suggesting corrupt practices.
The Pahang police have since begun investigating the allegations levelled at law enforcement agencies in the state during a land clearing operation.
In a Facebook post, Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said the 36-second video was recorded recorded during an operation to destroy crops on state-owned land on 18 December 2019, is being spread around with defamatory and seditious statements.
The video claims that there has been corrupted practices in Cameron Highlands and farmers who employ foreigners, especially Myanmar nationals, illegally have to pay the government and the authorities between RM35 to RM40 a day for each worker.
“Police are accused of forcing the farmers to contribute to ensuring that the farmers could carry out their activities without interruption. It was also alleged that the authorities would send a group of thugs called the ‘red army’ to destroy the farm produce if they failed to pay money as a lesson to other farmers,” Ramli said in the statement.
He also said the accusations are believed to be made to tarnish the enforcement agencies and the state government.
As for the video showing 2 men pruning cabbage, he explained that it was an enforcement operation carried out after the state government revoked the Temporary Occupation License (LPS) on 18 January 2018, and issued a land evacuation notice.
In December of the same year, a follow-up operation took place, involving more than 4 hectares of land.
Ramli said that the first operation was carried out on 28 August 2019, involving draining two water catchment ponds that could pose a danger to the locals.
Further investigation was carried out by Section 500 of the Penal Code, namely defamation and under the Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998.
Meanwhile, the Cameron Highlands Vegetable Growers Association had also denied the alleged practice or the existence of a ‘red army’ there.
However, some still believed that corrupted practices are still terrorising the farmers.
Often, the public will hear of other related issues such as illegal exploration, land encroachment, monopoly of foreign workers, the influx of illegal immigrants and various environmental problems.
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