Malaysian Land Right Defenders are Getting Harrassed: Here’s Why

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malaysian land right defenders are getting harrassed here’s why

In a clandestine episode that has sent shockwaves through the heart of Malaysia, three indefatigable champions of land rights and an unsung farmer find themselves thrust into the spotlight. In the underbelly of Perak, a conflict of unspoken dimensions has unraveled, with its roots buried in the struggle for land and the defiance of a relentless state government.

For an eternity, the soil in the Kanthan region, Perak, has been nurtured, bearing witness to the toil of generations. Where once vegetables thrived and fruits flourished, the land whispered stories of abundance. A community of farmers, guardians of the earth, also reared fish in these precious waters.

Yet, promises made in 2012, of new lands in exchange for their relocation, have remained nothing but hollow echoes. The state government, seemingly deaf to their pleas, has yet to deliver on its commitment.

Negotiations continued in silence until October 13, 2023, when an eviction notice was suddenly served, casting an air of uncertainty over the community’s future.

Land Negotiations Gone Wrong

October 24th saw the unholy arrival of a battalion from the enigmatic Perak State Land and Minerals Office (PTG). Clad in secrecy, these enforcers carried bulldozers and excavators, tools of an unfathomable operation. Their aim: to enforce eviction through covert means.

As the rumble of engines grew, a band of farmers, joined by shadowy activists from the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM), gathered to protect the sanctity of their soil. But shadows only provide refuge for so long.

The enforcers struck, thrusting these unsung heroes into the spotlight. Arrests followed, with darkness conspiring against them. Among the detained were Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj, Karthiges Manickam, Kesavan Parvathy, and the anonymous farmer Ho Pon Tien. Their imprisonment was a secret pact between shadows and silence, but it wouldn’t remain that way.

Emerging from the depths of obscurity, two powerful organizations, ARTICLE 19 and CIVICUS, rose to reveal the hidden strife. Their message of concern echoed across the nation.

Josef Benedict, the enigmatic CIVICUS Asia Pacific Researcher, saw the illegitimacy in these mysterious arrests. He exposed their purpose: a chilling warning to those who dared stand against the darkness. A whisper in the corridors of power urged the government to abandon its covert investigations.

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Chong Yee Shan, another enigmatic PSM activist, had been working in the shadows to protect land rights. She encountered not only arrest but also violence. In a shadowy encounter caught on an enigmatic video, she sustained injuries, her sacrifices a testament to her dedication to the cause.

ARTICLE 19 and CIVICUS, their voices emerging from the enigma, stood united against the clandestine mistreatment of Chong Yee Shan. They declared that in this enigmatic dance of power, such actions must remain hidden no longer. The authorities were urged to explore the obscurities swiftly, the hand behind the shadows held accountable.

In Malaysia, a land where the enigmatic and the hidden often obscure justice, human rights defenders tread an enigmatic path. They grapple with enigmas that extend from the judicial realm to the realm of enigmatic non-state actors.

In this enigmatic land, a saga of hidden heroes and secret conflicts continues, driven by the unyielding pursuit of fundamental rights in the obscure recesses of obscurity.

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