Reprieve for Raub Durian Farmers

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The Kuantan High Court yesterday fixed Oct 28 to hear the application by 111 Musang King durian planters in Raub to obtain permission for a judicial review against a state government order and decision for them to vacate their farms.

Counsel Siew Choon Jern, who is representing all the applicants from around Sungai Ruan, Tras and Sungai Chalit, told reporters after proceedings in the chambers of Justice Datuk Zainal Azman Ab Aziz.

The application, which was filed last Friday, should have been heard yesterday, but senior federal counsel Noor Fadzila Ishak, who is representing the respondents named in the application, requested for an extension of time to study the attached affidavit.

“We did not object as it is only fair for them to have more time to read it but we also applied for a suspension of the order against the parties involved in evicting the durian planters until a decision on today’s (yesterday’s) application has been made.

“The court allowed our application until the application hearing date (Oct 28), which means durian planters can enter and carry out their daily work on the land, which is the subject matter in this case, until the given date,” he said.

Siew said his firm would be serving the suspension order on the Raub District and Land Office and the Pahang Forestry Department soon as some planters were afraid to go to their farms as the period for them to vacate the land had expired.

He also claimed that his clients were prepared to negotiate to seek a settlement in the issue, as they had been working in the farms as long-time settlers in the area.

Hafiz Awang

“My clients are not involved in the incident of destroying durian trees as ‘viralled’ on social media, allegedly as a protest against the order, and they are prepared to comply with the correct procedure, which is through the law and discussion,” he said.

All 111 durian planters filed the application by naming six respondents, namely Raub District Land Administrator, Pahang Forestry director, state authorities, Pahang state government, Pahang State Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPP) and Royal Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd.