Pahang royalty and farmers tussle over Musang King

Durian farmers say new private venture's legalisation scheme stacked against them

Above: Save Musang King Alliance chairman Chang Yee Chin briefing durian farmers at a coffee shop in Sungai Klau last Thursday. Left: While most of the farmers are Chinese, there are also over 100 Malay families who work these lands. They include far
The hills beyond Sungai Klau, in Pahang's Raub, where the Musang King durians are planted at high altitude. A thousand or so mostly ethnic Chinese farmers have been planting the trees in Raub for the past four to five decades by clearing government-owned forest land.ST PHOTO: RAM ANAND
Above: Save Musang King Alliance chairman Chang Yee Chin briefing durian farmers at a coffee shop in Sungai Klau last Thursday. Left: While most of the farmers are Chinese, there are also over 100 Malay families who work these lands. They include far
Above: Save Musang King Alliance chairman Chang Yee Chin briefing durian farmers at a coffee shop in Sungai Klau last Thursday. ST PHOTO: RAM ANAND
Above: Save Musang King Alliance chairman Chang Yee Chin briefing durian farmers at a coffee shop in Sungai Klau last Thursday. Left: While most of the farmers are Chinese, there are also over 100 Malay families who work these lands. They include far
Above: While most of the farmers are Chinese, there are also over 100 Malay families who work these lands. They include farmers (from left) Mohamad Zufri, Mohamad Nizam, Khairul Zairi and Izzat Farhan, accompanied by an elderly member of the community (centre). ST PHOTO: RAM ANAND

In the foothills deep in Malaysia's Pahang state, a bitter tussle is pitting a large group of unlicensed farmers and a new company owned by the state's royalty over control of the famous Musang King durians.

The 1,000 or so farmers are mostly ethnic Chinese who have been planting durian trees in Raub, a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, for the past four to five decades by clearing government-owned forest land.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2020, with the headline 'Pahang royalty and farmers tussle over Musang King'. Print Edition | Subscribe