.. While one prefers to take a neutral stand on this issue, it is almost impossible to do so, seeing that while the administration of Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has been consistent in its comments and statements on the matter, his predecessor Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo has been flip-flopping and now finds himself in the kandang as the truth begins to unravel that it was his (Khir’s) administration which had given the green light for the integrated farming plan which would have enriched several rent-seekers.
When Abdul Khalid announced the plan earlier this month, Khir – who prior to the general election had targeted Selangor as a “zero-Opposition” state, but now finds himself as the de facto opposition leader – was the first to come out with scathing statements against the plan; accusing the present administration of being “insensitive” to the multi-racial community that will be “affected” by the project.
It did not help that certain newspapers played up the issue, going to town with the reports.
However, now, it seems that these people have muck on their faces as Abdul Khalid had revealed that it was the previous state government, following feedback from the MCA, which signed off on the centralised project on Jan 30.
Now, this disclosure has forced Khir – the most vocal campaigner against the project – into admitting that yes, “we approved in principle only and on a smaller scale”.
But this clever choice of words is not going to help the former MB from wiggling his way out of this issue, as opponents of the project discover that they have been burrowing down the wrong hole all this while.
The executive councillor for agriculture, modernisation, natural resources management and entrepreneur development, Yaakob Sapari, of PAS tells me that the documents that reveal the Khir administration’s hand in the conception of the project has been cleverly classified as rahsia.
“But don’t worry, we are in the midst of de-classifying them,” he assures me.
On Saturday, the Pakatan Rakyat state government received some unexpected help from MCA’s traditional agriculture bureau chairman Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng.
In an interview with the vernacular dailies, Lee indicated that Khir’s administration had done more than simply “agree in principle”.
He went as far as organising a lawatan sambil belajar to Germany to gain an insight into the application of German technology in operating pig farms.
Unless this was a holiday paid for with taxpayers’ money, one would say that the previous state government was dead serious about going ahead with the centralised farming project.
Amusingly, the delegation to Germany included Tanjung Sepat assemblyman Datuk Karim Mansor whose idea, Lee says, it was to introduce a bumiputra company to bring in the technology from Germany.
Also in the group was Ladang Tumbuk village head Mohamad Tarmudi Tushiran who was among 200 protesters who showed up with banners at the Selangor State Secretariat last week to protest against the plan.
Today, these two characters are huffing and puffing over the project they reportedly helped moot. Is it because they have lost out on a business venture or because it is politically expedient to do so?