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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 6 September 2020

The Raub Duriangate Scandal. Part 1

1. As a former MP of Raub (2013-2018) until struck by a stroke, I wish to give some thoughts on the durian-gate issue in Raub

2. I want people to know immediately where I am coming from - RPDR and its associates or whatever they wish to call themselves, is just a glorified protection racketeer.

3. The state government, in siding with RPDR is showing that its not thinking properly-its siding with the oppressors against the oppressed.

4. That decision does not endear the state government with the people. It will further fortify the people's resolve to resist the government. UMNO can kiss Raub a permanent goodbye.

5. As a rule, the government will always side with the rich and powerful. It's always on the side of the bourgeoisie. It does not protect the people.

6. Tell me sirs, how can you earn and profit from illegal enterprises? That's like earning income from prostitution. That makes RPDR a pimp. The P is pimp.

7. RPDR is a legal entity but earning income from illegal resource. Will the government now farm out prostitution to a legal company?

8. If the government by a stroke of the pen, can legalise farming out to RP, then on the same account can confer legal rights to growers right? What's stopping them from giving legal ownership to planters?

9. It's a question of either you want to do it or you don't want to. It's purely a judgement call made in the office at wisma Sri Pahang. That's where the MB's office is.

10. The DO at the Raub land office is sad to say, just an errand boy. Just another classy peon.

11. So tell me how can you earn money from illegal sources even though RPDR is legal? Might as well farm out the collection of online gambling in Sempalit.

12. As a former Raub MP I know a little bit of the Raub durian industry. About 80 percent or more, the durian orchards are cultivated from unlicensed state lands.

13. In the 60s and 70s the lands were cultivated mostly by poor and destitute Chinamen.

14. They would go to secluded, jungled areas mostly inaccessible except by bicycles and motorcycles to plant originally papayas and bananas. You can still see these if you travel to Sungai Ruan.

15. You can see why these areas are not cultivated then. Most of them were inaccessible, hilly and deep inside the jungles.

16. The industrious Chinamen cultivated and toiled these areas, planting them with bananas, papayas and later durians

17. They applied fertilisers, weeded the land and experimented with durian varieties. I was told that some old Chinaman in Tras can budgraft Musang King trees with their eyes closed.

18. That's experience you cannot buy off the rack. In other words the people at RPD have no experience whatsoever but ringgit signs in their eyes.

19. There are now slightly over 5000 acres of durian land categorised as unlicensed. Imagine if you were to pay RM6000 per acre per year you are getting RM30 million a year buta money.

20. 5 or 6 years ago, I convened a meeting between the growers and the precursor of RPDR.

21. Needless to say the meeting did not end well. The Chinese ketua kampung who arranged for the presence of the reps from the company, was not even present. He is an MCA member. The meeting became an avenue for tirades against the company.

22. One planter who cultivated about 60 acres told me he'd rather burn his trees rather than let the company profiteers.

23. Now, what are the onerous terms of the contract between RPDR and the planters,which makes RPDR-JV just a dignified rent seeker?

24. A slave master actually. There are so many terms that I not a lawyer find so detestable.

25. Planters will find accessibility to their own lands difficult. This is because RPDR -JV is planning to build tollgates at entry points. Will the planters be asked to pay entry fees?

26. Isnt the responsibility of determining ingress and egress into an area, belongs to the land office? Makan tidor je ke?

27. Why is the Land Office surredering this responsibility to RPDR? I find this strange.

28. The planters have to pay RM6000 per acre/year to RPDR JV. Not to Pejabat Daerah Raub. By the way the planters are already paying the Land Office for land use.

29. I am asking why should the planters pay RPDR? The income could be earned by the state government.

30. That's at least RM30 million a year. With that amount, RPDR can brag about building the largest durian processing plant on a 25 acre site in Teras or Tulai as the locals call it. Its free money. By the way the 25 acre land is bought or given by the state government?

31. Planters have to produce 2000 kg per acre per season. Is RPDR providing their golden shit as manure? What methods are to be used to produce 2 tons per acre? Please enlighten us RPDR.

32. On the 2000 kg, planters have to pay RM2 per kg. That's RM 4000.

33. In Raub there are over 5000 acres of durian land. (5000 x 4000) that's another RM20million buta money to RPDR. Does the state government get RM20 mil.?

34. If the state government can get RM20 million why should it allow RPDR earn that amount?

35. Tell me if that is not rapacious behaviour on the part of RPDR?

36. RPDR says it has to collect the RM2/kg bacause its paying the government RM10 per/kg per acre. I find this preposterous. That means its paying (10x2000x 5000acres) RM 100 million.

37. What kind of businessman worth his salt, takes in RM20 million but pays out RM100 million? Isn't that preposterous?

38. So kind of RPDR. Probably they pay RM500 per acre for agricultural land use. That works out to be (500x5000aces) =2,500,000. That's more like it. Take in RM 20 million pay out 2.5mil.

39. Once the planters signed the contract they become, virtually slaves. They have to produce 2000 kg per acre. So they have to toil. They can't get out of the contract. They will be penalised for that.

40. The planters can only sell their durians to RPDR. I can embellish my story by saying they cant even take home some for their families and friends. I hope RPDR is not that mean. Being the sole buyer it becomes a monopsonist.

41. As a monopsonist they cap the price of grade A musang king at RM30 per kg whereas the market price can range from RM 53 onwards. That's in Malaysia. In China, they can sell at RM100 per kg. WTF!

42. As you know the MK is graded into grades A, B and C. Grade C is not in the market. The damn company can further victimise the planters. What's stopping RPDR from grading say 1000 kg per acre to grade B? And pay a lower price? The income loss to planters is sizeable. What does RPDR care?

43. RPDR argues that its protecting Raub growers and consumers from foreign growers. That's balderdash. When I was the MP of Raub I hardly saw any foreigners unless RP counts those coming from other states as foreigners! Then the government ought to protect Raub people from RP!

44. RP also argued that it will help in getting certification from MOA. That's the function of MOA. It's unreasonable to withhold the giving out of certs to bona fide planters. It's not the business of MOA to find out whether these planters grow durians on state or own lands.

45. In this part, I won't argue the economic impacts of RP's intrusion into the market.

46. Rather as a politician, I will argue about the political repercussions. That will be in part 2.


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