15 November 2014

Cameron Highlands - Pendatang haram, tanah haram, pegawai istana dan surat kuning...

Laporan kait pegawai istana, kes tanah haram...

 Satu laporan akhbar The New Straits Times mendakwa kes penerokaan tanah secara haram di Cameron Highlands berpunca daripada arahan pegawai kanan Istana Pahang ke atas kelulusan projek tertentu.

Laporan eksklusif muka hadapan itu menyebut, dakwaan berkenaan berdasarkan dokumen digelar “surat kuning”, didakwa dikeluarkan oleh pegawai kanan yang juga waris anggota kerabat diraja.

Surat berkenaan didakwa mengandungi cadangan agar permohonan tertentu diluluskan untuk tujuan “pembangunan”.

Menurut laporan itu, dokumen seperti itu menjadi masalah kepada penguatkuasa yang terpaksa meluluskan permohonan.

"Surat demikian yang biasanya tanpa kepala surat akan dialamatkan kepada pegawai daerah (DO).

"Salinan yang diberikan kepada NST menunjukkan pengirimnya, seorang pegawai kanan istana meminta pegawai daerah Cameron Highlands agar meluluskan sebidang tanah kerajaan di Kampung Raja untuk pembangunan," laporan NST dipetik.

Namun, surat yang dipetik itu tidak pula menyebut tarikh ia ditulis kepada pegawai daerah berkenaan.

Kampung Raja adalah sebahagian daripada tiga kawasan utama di Cameron yang dilanda banjir lumpur pada 5 November yang mengorbankan lima nyawa.

Memetik kenyataan seorang sumber, laporan itu seterusnya menyebut bahawa pihak istana Pahang tidak mempunyai kaitan dengan surat berkenaan.

"Sultan tiada kena mengena dengan perkara ini... Dalam banyak kes, nama baik istana digunakan dengan harapan pihak berkuasa akan menjauhkan diri kerana takut atau hormat,” katanya.

Laporan itu turut memetik kenyataan dua orang bekas pegawai daerah Cameron Highlands yang mengakui kewujudan “surat kuning” tersebut.

Seorang daripadanya, yang tidak dinamakan, berkata surat itu disimpan dalam fail sulit dan hanya boleh diakses oleh pegawai daerah dan setiausahanya.

Laporan itu turut memetik kenyataan seorang pegawai Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) yang membangkitkan mengenai kelemahan pihak penguatkuasa tempatan.

"Tangan mereka bukannya terikat. Pihak berkuasa boleh kuatkuasa undang-undang jika mereka mahu.

"Apa salahnya kalau mereka ditukarkan atau bertindak menongkah arus? Jika kesemua (penguatkuasa) bertegas, berapa ramai yang boleh dipaksa bertukar?

"Terlalu sedikit yang baik tetapi banyak yang teruk yang bersekongkol dengan peladang yang rakus,” kenyataan pegawai SPRM yang tidak dinamakan itu dipetik.- mk 

Ramli B Sukri - Itu masaalah surat kuning, menyebabkan pehak berkuasa termasuk DO x berani nak bertindak. Taib Mahmud tu surat nya warna apa pulak sampai SPRM sendiri pun terhoyong hayang nak bertindak. TUNJUKAN KETEGASAN SENDIRI, JGN HANYA TUDUH ORANG@PEGAWAI LAIN...

Cahaya Penawar Taw - Yg tukang ugut tu umno..yg ada surat kuning tu pun umno..pemerintah negeri tu umno..seme umno..dia pakat bedal sesama dia..bila berlaku kes mcm nie..seme umno pakat tunding jari..cari black goat..x dpt kambing..anwar akan di saloh kan..itu lah perangai seluruh umno bangsat.

Alahmad Alsharif - Hanya udara dan tanah kubur saja yg masih belum tergadai dek UMNO ni.

‘Yellow letters’ bane of Camerons...

AS experts warn of the end of Cameron Highlands, authorities who could reverse the travesties in the hills have made a desperate cry for help.

Arguing their case against accusations that they had been closing one eye as the highlands continued to be ravaged by illegal land clearing, these law enforcers, who said they would have discharged their duties more effectively if they were allowed, want the cans of worms of the administration in Cameron Highlands to be ripped wide open.

They are willing to go to great lengths to expose the deeply entrenched multi-level corruption and abuse of power that had contributed to the extensive damage.

For starters, they made available to the New Straits Times an example of an all-powerful document, one of the root causes of environmental problems besieging the highlands.

This document is widely known among not only those in power but those tasked to execute it as surat kuning.

Letters like these are the very bane of enforcers, who had on many occasions, had them shoved in their faces, ultimately forcing them to authorise the land to be “legally” ravaged.

Such letters, which always come without a letterhead, would be addressed to the district officer (DO).

The copy given to the NST showed the sender, allegedly a senior official in the Pahang palace, specifying the exact tract of government land in Kampung Raja he had wanted the Cameron Highlands district office to approve for development.

Kampung Raja was one of the three main areas in Cameron Highlands that was hit by mudslides on Nov 5. It was also near this area that a 13-year-old died on that ill-fated night.

The official, with lineage to the Pahang royal house, said in the letter, “the administration had received an appeal from an applicant to develop a 0.277ha of land and that the businessman would build 16 units of storage (for produce) and that the latter had submitted his application for the purpose.

“... Your (the district officer’s) co-operation and kind assistance in giving this request special consideration is sought and duly approved,” he said before signing off with his royal titles.

The NST has learnt that the issuance of new Temporary Occupation Licences had been frozen since 2001.

Meanwhile, the Pahang palace through an official, said they would not comment on the Cameron Highlands issue and that they would leave it to the state government to handle.

A former DO who served in the highlands “confessed” that all letters pertaining to land matters were kept in a “confidential file” in the DO’s office.

“Only the DO and his secretary have access to the documents,” he said, adding only the DO had the authority to approve such letters. 

Another former Cameron Highlands DO said not all surat kuning he received during his tenure in the highlands were from the palace.

“When I receive them, I will check their authenticity with my connections in the palace, including the secretary.

“I verify who exactly the letters were from. However, I don’t usually entertain such letters and had never received any threats for sitting on them,” he said, adding that other district officers had also received these surat kuning.

Meanwhile, authorities looking at plugging the problem of land clearing in the highlands said many farmers considered the land that they had been cultivating as their “god-given right”.

“Say, for instance, the father was given a hectare. When the son joins the business, they will illegally develop the surrounding land areas, ultimately expanding their farms.

“That is why we are seeing farms that cover buffer zones and those that even dip into rivers.

“These irresponsible and greedy parties do everything they can to minimise their costs to rake in high profits. You see them dumping farm waste into the river,” one exasperated officer said.

Meanwhile, those probing the shenanigans going on in Cameron Highlands said there were only a handful of individuals said to have links with the palace that had been exerting their so-called power.

“The sultan has nothing to do with this... In many cases, the good name of the palace is dropped in the hopes authorities would keep a safe distance out of fear or respect,” one source said.

Another set of sources said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had, since 14 years ago, been pushing for various enforcement agencies and local councils to stop illegal land clearing in the highlands.

“They were told to do joint operations, share logistics and intelligence information, and work with the graft busters.

“They did carry out enforcement but it was short-lived and before you knew it, not only were these farmers back in business, they were more aggressive.

“They have brought in more illegal workers into their farms to push up production.

“The problems they have created are manifested in the kind of carnage we are seeing in Cameron Highlands,” they said.

The NST was told that the MACC had led more than 100 joint operations since 2000.

While the law enforcers entrusted with preserving the highlands cited “interference” for their inaction, to the MACC, the enforcers were not serious in arresting the problem.

“Their hands are not entirely tied. The authorities can enforce the law if they wanted to. So what if they are transferred for going against the grain? If everyone of them stood their ground, how many transfers can be forced?

“There are just too few of the good ones but lots of bad apples who are in cahoots with these greedy farmers.

“What have they done in the past 14 years? Look at the farms mushrooming on steep hills and river reserves, even first-timers to the pristine highlands will know these are illegal sites. What are they doing?” the sources asked.

Their assessment is supposedly shared by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (he also oversees the National Security Council), who was reportedly miffed by the excuses that the law enforcers gave, that they were forced to bow to certain quarters and feared repercussions, including by syndicates.

An enforcement officer who attended a meeting on the Cameron Highlands issue in Putrajaya last week spoke of how Shahidan sarcastically told a group of media personnel to feel free to bring backhoes to Cameron Highlands as the law enforcers there were “scaredy-cats”.

“The lax enforcement has resulted in farmers to be more daring in opening up larger, newer sites and this has resulted in dwindling forest reserves in the highlands,” said the sources.

“Weak enforcement had made them bolder in unleashing their illegal workers to carry out illegal farming, especially during the weekends and public holidays.

“You know that they operate on these days ... Yet, you don’t rotate your roster to ensure there is no room for this to happen,” they said.

The sources pointed out one fact — that some of the agencies involved were even equipped with the right equipment, including satellite monitoring systems, for effective enforcement.

“They must have detected illegally opened areas that are bald and barren, and could have done something about it... But they choose not to.”

The highlands have seen recurring disasters over the years with the latest on Nov 5, where five perished in landslides.

An operation in the highlands involving all relevant agencies, including the armed forces, is ongoing.

Now, in its sixth day, the main focus appears to be the hunt for illegal immigrants.

Premises where they had been employed have remained closed, with many of them believed to 
be hiding in the surrounding jungles.

“For as long as the operations are going on, they will not come out. This is the first time in my 10 years here that I am seeing a major operation against illegal foreign workers,” said one of the law enforcers.

“I strongly hope by the time the enforcers leave this place the foreign workers won’t be back.”  - nst

The end of Cameron Highlands...


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