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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Association: No need for public hearing on pig farming


Giam Say Khoon

PETALING JAYA (April 28, 2008): There is no necessity to hold a public hearing on the proposed modern pig farming area in Ladang Tumbuk, Selangor Livestock Farmers' Association's pig unit chief Sim Ah Hock said today.

He said the project, originally initiated by the former Barisan Nasional (BN) state government, had received the go-ahead.

"After the trip to Germany organised by the former state government to visit the modern pig farms there last year, I was assured by former state exco member Datuk Ch'ng Toh Eng that the project will be carried out, and that the village head (Mohamad Tarmudi Tushiran) of Kampung Ladang Tumbuk, who also went on the trip with me, had agreed the project was a good one and it should be done," Sim said.

"So I do not understand why they would go against the project now. It (the objection) is not logical at all."

He was commenting on a call by former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government to hold a public hearing to listen to the voices of the local residents on the project.

"There is no reason to object because this is the best solution to overcome the pollution problems caused by traditional pig farms in the state," Sim said.

He said the only reason he could think of for these people to object was because they would no longer "benefit" from the project.

Asked about the developments on the project, Sim said the association met the PR state government for the first time on April 18 and there were still a lot of details to be discussed.

He said pig farmers had generally agreed to the project as there is no choice for them if they still want to do business in the state.

Asked how they would control the number of pigs if the state allows them to rear only 250,000 pigs in the modern pig farm, Sim said there are currently about 280,000 pigs in the state.

"I am quite sure that the state government will cut down the quota of some pig farmers to achieve the 250,000-pig target and if that is the case, we will need to control the reproduction of pigs," he said.

"Our situation is different from Malacca, where the pig farmers were required to move their pigs out from the state last year because of a drastic decrease in quota. Such a situation will not happen in Selangor and we do not have to send our pigs to other states."

Last week, Mohd Khir Toyo had demanded that the state government hold a public hearing in line with "Local Government Agenda 21" to listen to the local residents affected by the project.

He insisted a public hearing be conducted by Tanjung Sepat assemblyman Datuk Abdul Karim Mansor if the state government fails to do so.

Agriculture, Modernisation, Natural Resources and Entrepreneurial Development Committee chairman Yaakob Sapari was not available for comment.

Two weeks ago, Yaakob had said the state government will not spend a sen on the project as the cost will be entirely borne by the pig farmers and private investors, and the modern pig farm will only supply pork for consumption in the state.

Updated: 06:27PM Mon, 28 Apr 2008


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