Wednesday 8 August 2012
Noh Omar 'not mere landlord' of prawn farm, says DAP rep
Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim and more than 100 supporters have protested in front of a prawn farm in Tanjung Karang, Selangor, alleging that landowner Noh Omar had abused his power as the agriculture and agro-based industries minister.
Ng also revealed fresh evidence that purportedly shows the minister is in fact a joint-venture partner in the farm, not a mere landlord as he had previously claimed.
The document is a letter of affirmation purportedly signed under oath by Pristine Agrofood Sdn Bhd director Chu Bak Teck on Jan 11, 2011, in connection with a private caveat on the land that Ng had revealed last month.
“The company has agreed to jointly develop this land with Noh Omar [MyKad number and address included] on his land [address of prawn farm] for the guaranteed price of at least RM25,200 per year. A copy of the joint venture agreement dated Jan 5, 2011 is attached,” the letter reads.
“In view that the joint venture would take at least 10 years, the company wishes to apply to include a private caveat on the land to protect the company’s interest on the land.”
The caveat prevents Noh from selling the land for the period specified.
Chu had previously denied that the company had teamed up with Noh in the project.
Malaysiakini is attempting to contact both of them for comment on this development.
Ng said local residents are unhappy because it is difficult for them to obtain land when Noh, who is the Tanjung Karang MP, was able to obtain 12 hectares of former mangrove reserves that form part of the farm, which occupies over 40 hectares.
“Noh (left) can eat prawns, including his otak udang (dull brain), but he cannot breed prawns. This is an abuse of power. The person who supposedly wants to become the (Selangor) menteri besar must step forward and answer these allegations,” he said.
He also claimed that the farm cleans its ponds every three to six months and discharges the waste water into the sea.
Local residents suspect that this contains harmful chemicals and have blamed the discharge for a drop in their fishing catch.
Ng had first exposed the matter on July 12 at a state assembly sitting as a series of allegations against Noh and the Tanjung Karang Umno division.
Not part of operation
When contacted by Malaysiakini later, Chu insisted Noh Omar is merely the landlord and not part of the prawn farm's operation.
He admitted that he used the term "joint venture" in the letter of affirmation, but he explained that this was to protect the company's interest.
"The agreement is in fact a tenancy agreement, but we wrote it as something like a joint venture agreement. This is to protect both parties."
"We want to bind Noh Omar, so that he will not sell the land and cause a loss to us."