Durian Farmers Demand Money Back After Payment Passed off as Endorsement

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Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd (RPDR-PKPP) says it will honour its promise to refund earnest money paid by unlicensed durian planters in Raub.

The management of the consortium said on Saturday (Sept 5) that it wished to reassure planters who registered for the legalisation scheme that it stood by its promise to refund the earnest money should they withdraw their registration.

RPDR-PKPP said 14 unlicensed planters had requested to withdraw their registration and asked for a refund on Friday (Sept 4).

The consortium said their requests were being processed and the refund would be made within five working days.

“Given the recovery movement control order (MCO) restrictions, which calls for physical distancing of at least 1m and disallowing large gathering of any sort, the RPDR-PKPP’s office in Raub is only able to accommodate six farmers at a time,” the company said in a statement.

It said the earnest money paid was not for an entry permit.

“Earnest money is a deposit paid to show interest in participating in the legalisation scheme.

“RPDR-PKPP appreciates the farmers’ patience and understanding in cooperating with the earnest money refund procedures,” it said.

RPDR-PKPP also produced a screenshot of a registration form, which the planters allegedly signed.

The Save Musang King Alliance (Samka) have launched a “reimbursement campaign” to demand a refund of payments made to purchase the so-called entry permits.

In disputing a statement made by RPDR-PKPP earlier that 133 planters had confirmed and partially paid earnest money, Samka said these planters were by no means signing any contract; they only wanted to purchase an entry permit.

The group said this was because the company used the final notice issued by the Land Office to threaten the planters, saying that only those who purchased the entry permit would be allowed to enter their durian farms after Aug 24.

“Therefore, the planters want to respond to the confusion by demanding a refund as a sign of protest against the lies of RPDR-PKPP,” said Samka.

The group said about 20 planters had demanded a refund so far of between RM2,000 and RM10,000 each.

It said the entry permits had lost its function after the High Court decided to suspend enforcement action pending a hearing of the judicial review application filed by the planters.

The group also demanded that RPDR-PKPP withdraw its statement that 300 planters had registered with them, saying that this was because while the planters attended a briefing, there was no follow-up afterwards. – The Star