Food security is currently a huge issue in the country, but the government is taking measures that seemingly contradict its efforts to ensure food security.
This came after Kebun-Kebun Bangsar, a community garden in Bangsar that promotes the concept of urban farming was given an eviction order by the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office.
Meanwhile, Muda’s Lembah Pantai division also questioned the government’s commitment to ensuring food security and advocating an independent society.
In a statement, Muda division chief Shah Fariq Aizal Sha Ghazni condemns the action of the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office in issuing a final eviction notice to the popular Kebun-Kebun Bangsar urban farm as the plot of land is considered a community garden for many public members, and has offered various benefits to the local community in the area.
Shah Fariq added that the garden is now home to many farm animals that are part of a bigger ecosystem keeping pests under control.
“Is the government today truly committed to the issue of food security and independent community, or is this just one of their populist political rhetorics?”
“Is the government in support of the actions taken by its enforcement agencies that are seen to only punish the rakyat and that could affect our food security and plans for independent society?” Shah Fariq asked.
Meanwhile, he said that community projects like Kebun-Kebun Bangsar should instead be encouraged and used as an example for other local communities to emulate.
On Tuesday (28 June), Kebun-Kebun Bangsar uploaded on its Instagram page a copy of the final eviction notice, which ordered the operators of the farm to clear the premises or face action.
It also share a screenshot of a tweet by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as he praises the project just a few weeks before.
Land office’s response
Following the criticisms, Federal Territories Land and Mines Office director Datuk Muhammad Yasir Yahya said the eviction was issued for alleged violation of its temporary occupancy licence (TOL).
According to NST, Yasir said that although the government supported such community activities, the farm operators facilities must still follow conditions for the land occupation.
He added that the department had found that the farm kept livestock such as chickens, ducks and sheep that caused other issues such as odour, flies as well as noise disruption.
The site, owned by Tenaga Nasional Bhd and located near Lorong Bukit Pantai, was previously an idle piece of land, but was transformed by Kebun-Kebun Bangsar co-founder and landscape architect Ng Seksan and his team into a garden growing flowers, vegetables, and fruits in 2017.
The harvests of Kebun-Kebun Bangsar were often distributed to the needy, especially during the movement control order.