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Updated: Oct 24, 2023

[Updated Version]

Actions taken by enforcement officers from Ipoh’s Land Registry Office (PTG) and the police towards farmers and activists during the forced eviction at Kanthan, Tambun, are nothing but appalling.

Based on verified updates released by Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), a PTG officer violently shoved activist Chong Yee Shan to the ground to make way for bulldozers and excavators to evict six farmers in Kanthan this morning. Chong suffered injuries to her nose and mouth as well as broken teeth as a result of this thrust. At 2.05pm, three activists and one farmer, including PSM Chairperson Dr. Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, were subsequently arrested by police. This took place after farmers and activists’ efforts to prevent PTG’s attempts to demolish the farmers’ land whilst negotiations were ongoing.

All government officials, regardless of rank and mandate, have the responsibility to ensure that they conduct their duties with fairness and integrity. This includes non-violence as well as upholding rights, wellbeing and welfare of the people whom they serve, including activists who tirelessly advocate for the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. The physical violence and arbitrary arrest by enforcement officers from PTG and the police constitute a clear breach of these values – by not only grossly violating the fundamental right to liberty and security of person of all farmers and activists implicated, but also perpetuating injustices of displacement, loss of livelihoods and absent legal protection against the farmers when they have yet to receive alternatives for relocation as promised by the Perak State Development Corporation (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak; PKNP).

We demand the police to immediately release the four activists and farmer, as well as initiate investigations into the act of violent shoving by the PTG officer against Chong. We also urge Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, also the member of Parliament for the Tambun constituency, to swiftly look into the legality of the forced eviction undertaken by PTG, whilst observing inclusive processes including consultations undertaken with implicated farmers and other stakeholders.

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