To: Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Lim Hock San
Board of Directors
LBS Bina Group Bhd
Re: Appeal to LBS Bina to Preserve Food Production in Changkat Kinding
We are a group of small vegetable farmers who have been tilling the land near Kg Baru Changkat Kinding for the past 90 years. Our forefathers opened this land before World War 2 and our families have been working this land since then. We produce a variety of vegetables, tubers and corn. There are also ponds for water lily and fish rearing. We are an important source of fresh food for the local markets. (Photographs of a sample of the crops we plant is attached as Appendix One.) Several among us have applied to the Kinta Land Office for TOL (Temporary Occupation Licences) but have not been successful.
We recently came to know that 250 acres of this farmland was alienated to Generasi Simbolik Sdn Bhd in 2007. As you would know, this is a fully owned subsidiary of LBS Bina Holdings, itself a fully owned subsidiary under LBS Group. Generasi Simbolik apparently wants to develop a big housing scheme in this area.
The 38 small farmers on the affected 250 acres of land were, on 18/5/2022, given Notices under Section 425 of the National Land Code. This Notice gave us 2 weeks to vacate this land or otherwise, face dire consequences. (A copy of this Notice is attached as Attachment 2). The day after we received this notice we were invited to a meeting by our local ADUN. We thought it would be a meeting with the Land Office, but at that meeting 3 representatives from Generasi Simbolik came and offered us RM 9000 per acre to move out.
We actually would prefer to continue farming at this site, but because we felt there was no alternative and were afraid that the Land Office would follow through with their 425 notice and evict us forcibly, we said at that meeting, that we would be prepared to move out if paid RM 15,000 per acre.
However several among us were not happy with this decision and we turned to Dr Jeyakumar, the former MP for Sg Siput, for advice. Through his involvement we have learnt that the section 425 of the National Land Code is meant for “squatters” on government land. As the land we are on has been alienated to Generasi Simbolik, section 425 does not apply here. (Appendix Three – Relevant section of the National Land Code). We have sent a memorandum to the Menteri Besar of Perak on 30/5/2022 appealing that he asks the Land Office to withdraw their 425 notice and helps us to continue farming. (A copy of our letter to the MB of Perak is attached as Appendix Four.)
We have now come to know that Generasi Simbolik is fully owned by LBS Bina Group, a big business conglomerate. We would like to appeal to LBS Bina Group to postpone plans for housing development in this area for the next few years as the nation is facing a serious food shortage and the prices of basic food products are going up. This is not the right time to convert food producing land to housing projects. Please give us, the 38 farmers are tilling this land, 10 year leases to continue producing food for the nation. We are willing to pay a reasonable rent for the use of this land.
We are aware that you might be paying land premiums at the residential rate which is higher than the agricultural rate. But surely, if you exercise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and hold off on your housing development plans for the benefit of the nation, the Perak State Government will be prepared to reduce your land premium back to the agricultural rate.
We do realise that the returns LBS Bina will get from renting this land to us will be much lower than the earnings from property development. But food insecurity is a real and present problem. And many ordinary Malaysian citizens are already suffering from the rising prices of food. We hope you can convince your LBS Group Board members to exercise CSR and enter into a land leasing agreement with us.
We would like to invite you and your Board members to visit us in Changkat Kinding to see for yourselves the crops that we are growing. Do come visit us.
In anticipation of a favourable decision,
The Farmers of Changkat Kinding