Selangor government’s horticulture center vision needs political will


LETTER | Whenever the issue and problems of Green Lane Sungai Buloh Horticultural Nurseries, which have been affected by the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Highway (DASH) as well as the road widening projects for the new Kwasa township Damansara, are mentioned by the government of Selangor. answer and its The excuse is that he has a long-term vision to relocate all nurseries in the entire Sg Buloh region, including Kg Melayu and Jalan Hospital nurseries, to a central location for growth and progress. suitable for the horticultural industry.

However, many years have passed since the promises were made and despite changes in administration, to date nothing tangible has materialized. The nursery owners and operators, who were brought in by the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation in 1999, continue to hope and look forward to the day when this grand plan of the state government will be realized.

Many nursery operators have gone out of business and many more face an uncertain future. And, with road works everywhere, businesses have stagnated as no new investment has been made. The issue of relocation continues to be delayed or dragged on indefinitely and the patience of nurserymen is wearing thin.

The more the Selangor government hesitates to act, the more the horticulture industry will suffer and it could slowly die – and the Covid 19 pandemic could hasten the process. As if all these problems were not enough, the contractor of the DASH highway project – Prolintas – did not take serious measures to settle the ex gratia payment promised to about twenty nurseries to speed up and facilitate the evacuation of nurseries.

More than two years have passed and most of the liberated sites are unused and are now dumping grounds for all kinds of waste. Nurserymen have been ordered to leave the area urgently without any relocation plans or sentiment or sympathy for the loss of livelihoods or the resulting plight of those affected.

It is truly shocking that none of the people’s elected representatives have taken the cause seriously in the State Legislature or Parliament to help the nurserymen, who support a vital industry that has become integral to re-greening and of the rehabilitation of the country, in particular the urban landscape.

The business of former menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim…

Former Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim had pledged through a letter to nursery owners and operators as well as the Selangor Lands and Mines Department that all horticultural nurseries would be relocated to the ‘Rubber Research Institute (RRI) land – now land of Kwasa Damansara and the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) – when the RRI was developed.

This promise of the old menteri besar has the legal force of promissory estoppel and must be respected. However, subsequent administrations feigned ignorance of this condition, as did Kwasa Damansara and the MRB.

The state government has exclusive jurisdiction over the planning and development of Kwasa Damansara and it is not difficult to fulfill the condition of including the nurseries. If it is not possible to relocate the nurseries to Kwasa Damansara, where land is too expensive, then it is the responsibility of the state government to seek alternative land and this should be done quickly.

Consolidation of all the nurseries into one center will result in orderly and considerable growth and will also contribute to the development of the surrounding areas due to the ripple effects.

The horticultural center could become a tourist spot and an attraction because the diversity of local plants, flowers, trees and other related items is vast and the expertise and know-how of the Sg Buloh nurserymen, especially in l The landscaping, rock gardens and water fountains are well known.

All of this will be wasted if the industry is fragmented across many sites and does not receive government assistance in setting up the horticulture center.

It is hoped that the issues associated with the nurseries will soon be resolved and the matter will be raised in the ongoing session of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly by sympathetic and concerned state officials.

Only political will on the part of the state government will ensure that the proposed horticultural center will take shape. There is no point in having a vision when there is no sincere or serious mission to carry out the plans.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.


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