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Cabinet decision that Malacca pig farmers can apply for aid from Bank Negara’s Fund for Food to install proper waste system utterly meaningless when MCA Ministers and leaders have agreed to ban pig-rearing activities outside Paya Mengkuang in Malacca and reduction to 48,000 heads of pigs in the state by Sept. 21
(Parliament, Thursday): The Cabinet decision that Malacca pig farmers can apply for aid from Bank Negara’s Fund for Food to install proper waste system is utterly meaningless when MCA Ministers and leaders have agreed to ban pig-rearing activities outside Paya Mengkuang in Malacca and the reduction to 48,000 heads of pigs in the state by Sept. 21.
Yesterday, the Human Resources Minister and MP for Alor Gajah, Datuk Seri Dr. Fong Chan Onn told reporters in Parliament that pig farmers from Kampung Bukit Beruang, Kampung Man Lok and Paya Mengkuang in Malacca should apply for aid from Bank Negara’s Fund for Food to install a proper waste system.
Can Fong explain what is the use of such advice to the pig farmers in Bukit Beruang and Man Lok as well as other areas in Malacca state outside Paya Mengkuang when MCA leaders led by him - totally without consultation, mandate or agreement of the pig farmers - had agreed in negotiations at the Masjid Tanah Umno headquarters on Tuesday (4th September) complied with two demands:
Fong should explain what was the use of his going to the Cabinet the next day (Wednesday September 5) to get approval to extend Bank Negara’s Fund for Food aid to pig farmers in Malacca to install proper waste system when he had agreed a day earlier to the ban on all pig farming activities outside Paya Mengkuang in the state?
Wasn’t this a totally empty and meaningless gesture?
Why didn’t Fong secure Cabinet approval very much earlier for all pig farmers in Malacca state to be able to get aid from Bank Negara’s Fund for Food to install proper waste system which would have averted the nine-hour standoff between 2,000-strong multi-agency contingent drawn from Police FRU, Rela, Immigration, state and local government enforcement personnel on the one hand and defenceless men, women and children with the latter forming human barricades at Paya Mengkuang to defend their very livelihood!
Why didn’t Fong and MCA leaders make it clear at the Sept. 4 negotiations at the Masjid Tanah Umno headquarters that the operation to cull the pig population in Paya Mengkuang should be called off and the whole issue referred to the Cabinet meeting the next day – especially when the “show of force” in Paya Mengkuang must be condemned as gross and arrogant abuse of power, not only without notice and totally unlawful but utterly shameful for a country celebrating 50th Merdeka anniversary?
The nine-hour standoff between an armed-to-the-teeth 2,000-strong contingent, together with personnel in space-suits, water cannons and a helicopter in constant reconnaissance on one side, and defenceless men, women and children forming human barricades on the other to protect their rice bowls, have sent out shock reverberations to the country and marred the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations.
The question which had been uppermost in many minds in the six-week run-up to the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations on August 31 had bulked even larger with greater poignancy and urgency– why has Malaysian nation-building gone so terribly wrong when Malaysians should be even more united in a common purpose to achieve greater heights for the country on the occasion of celebrations of half-a-century of nationhood?
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Bentong yesterday that the Malacca State Government should negotiate with pig farmers to find the best way to solve the pig farming issue in the state and that any quick action such as culling should be avoided.
Najib said he had asked the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Ali Rustam to hold negotiations and Ali Rustam said he was willing to do so.
But Ali Rustam has failed to keep his promise to Najib, passing the buck to his subordinates in the State Exco who were able to get Fong and MCA leaders to comply with unreasonable demands like the ban on pig rearing activities in the state outside Paya Mengkuang and the cap on the pig population to 48,000 heads by Sept. 21.
Why did Fong and the MCA leaders submit so easily to the demands of the Malacca state government, when they should have stood their ground to condemn the unwarranted show of force to conduct an illegal operation to cull pigs in Paya Mengkuang?
In his statement yesterday, Ali Rustam said the operation to cull the pigs in Paya Mengkuang, Man Lok and Bukit Beruang on Tuesday was halted on the appeal of the MCA President and Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting as made through Najib.
Ali Rustam said Ong asked for time to reduce the pig population in the state to 48,000 heads and this was why he had given the new Sept. 21 deadline.
MCA leaders must explain why without authority, mandate and consultation with the pig farmers in the state, they had agreed to the ban on all pig-rearing activities in Malacca state outside Paya Mengkuang and the cap on pig population to 48,000 heads by Sept. 21.
As the Cabinet has decided that pig farmers are eligible for Bank Negara “Fund for Food” Aid to install proper waste system, this decision should not be made meaningless by the Malacca State government insisting on a ban on pig farming in Malacca outside Paya Mengkuang and to cap the pig population to 48,000 heads.
All pig farmers in Malacca should be given time to avail themselves of the Bank Negara “Fund for Food” aid to install proper waste system to meet all environmental requirements for the pig-rearing industry.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman