After much trouble, the memorandum was successfully presented to Mohamad Sabu’s representatives.
A group of Perak farmers together with Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) with the help of the Lawan Lapar campaign (a joint initiative between The Fourth Media, Undi 18, and PSM) went on a peaceful march yesterday to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
However, they were blocked by the police at Taman Tugu Negara from continuing with their peaceful march towards the Parliament building.
The incident was recorded and shared on social media by PSM Youth Wing Secretary Gandipan Nantha Gopalan.
Nak bagi memorandum ke Parlimen pun tak boleh ke? pic.twitter.com/2AMKvFlVTG— Gandipan, PSM (@iamgandipan) September 12, 2023
From the video, it can be seen that police officers formed a barricade, preventing several individuals which included PSM deputy chairman S Arutchelvan from passing through.
Lawan Lapar released a media statement regarding the issue stating their disappointment over what happened.
Lawan Lapar was faced with unnecessary police interference. Peaceful farmers and activists were stopped by a large police contingent from delivering a memorandum to Parliament.— Lawan Lapar (@lawanlapar_my) September 12, 2023
We call on PDRM to uphold the Rakyat's right to peaceful assembly at the heart of Malaysian democracy. pic.twitter.com/89HMyKmpkC
Arutchelvan told BFM News that this was not an isolated incident.
4. PSM Deputy Chairman S Arutchelvan told BFM News that this is not an isolated incident.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) September 12, 2023
"Since the lawyer's march which was stopped last year, every other assembly is going through the same problem. The SOSMA memorandum was also blocked," he says.
Since the lawyer’s march, which was stopped last year, every other assembly is going through the same problem. The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) 2012 memorandum was also blocked.
“When MUDA wanted to submit a memorandum on the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) they were also blocked.
“Parliament is a symbol of democracy in the nation. It should not be a restricted area for the public. People should be able to submit memoranda to their elected representatives,” he was quoted as saying.
It was later reported that after negotiations, only then the activists were allowed to walk to Parliament.
They managed to submit the memorandum to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security of Malaysia, Mohamad Sabu’s representative.
Pejabat saya telah menerima Memorandum Pertahankan Hak Nelayan dan Petani Demi Keterjaminan Makanan Rakyat Malaysia dari NGO Lawan Lapar di perkarangan Parlimen pagi ini. pic.twitter.com/yiBYDdlsll— Mohamad Sabu (@MSabuOfficial) September 12, 2023
According to The Star, both Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman were also present to receive the farmers’ memorandum.
What’s In The Memorandum?
The Perak Farmers Coalition is asking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to temporarily halt all land eviction actions in Kanthan, Tanah Hitam, and Changkat Kinding.
Additionally, they asked Anwar to work with the Perak state government to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into how important these lands are to maintain Malaysia’s food security and whether farmers could keep using them under the Land Acquisition Act, which allows for the provision of substitute lands to developers.