Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Marginalising the Poor

UMNO talks about protecting the rights of their own community, their own race. It must be true. For they will do anything in their power to protect the interest of the UMNOputra race, at the expense of all other races, including Malays, Chinese, Indians and other bumiputeras.

The companies, Perspektif Massa Sdn Bhd and Cahaya Kelang Construction (CKC), subsidiary of Acmar International owned by a certain Tee Ah Lek and his family, with the complicity of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MBAJ), the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and possibly the Selangor State Government, flattened some 20 or more homes of more than 50 people who have been living there for the past 30 years in Kampung Berembang, despite the fact that their alternative homes are only scheduled to be completed in 6 months time. Even their legal case which is pending hearing in Shah Alam High Court has been postponed to next year, giving the residents little or no recourse to the developers' unjust actions.

Thanks to Nathaniel, who writes brilliantly at Jelas.info, we know that the Selangor State Government, through its investment vehicle, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad is intertwined extensively with a crony property-construction company, Acmar International. They have for that matter, set up a joint-venture company to develop various projects in Selangor, 7 of which is listed on the CKC website.

Interestingly enough, this semi-government joint-venture, PNSB-Acmar has failed to submit audited accounts since year 2000 when it lost RM16 million, a serious offence under the Companies' Act. In addition, Dato’ Abd. Samad bin Maharuddin @ Samat - former Special Officer to the Menteri Besar of Selangor, (persumably) his son Mr. Mohammad Khairul Dato’ Abd Samad and one Dato’ Mustapha Abd. Hamid, who was former Senior Assistant Director in the Prime Ministers Department, forms part of the board of directors at Acmar International.


The pictures, I'm certain tells a thousand words. More extensive and detailed reporting is available at Jelas.info.

Nobody is questioning the fact that if the residents are indeed squatting illegally on state or private property, they should be required to move to new accomodations. However, given the fact that these residents have been staying on the site for the past 30 years without interruption and the fact that their alternative low-cost residence to be provided by the state government is not yet ready, surely the Selangor State Government could have done a whole lot more to protect the interest of the poor, in this case, poor bumiputeras.

As reported in Malaysiakini, as recently as November 2nd, "the villagers had met Selangor State Secretary Ramli Mahmud who said he would see if they can stay here until their homes are completed in April next year.”

Where are the UMNO Youth keris-waving protagonist who complained incessantly about protecting Malay rights and allegedly marginalised Malays in Penang under the Gerakan state government, when much worse is suffered by the poor Malays in UMNO-led self-declared "developed state" of Selangor? Just as 'squatters' were evicted from their homes to allow UMNOputra Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros to build his illegal palatial mansion, is this going to be the same fate for Kampung Berembang?

Or is this going to be another case whereby the Menteri Besar proclaims that "Selangor is special", so "semuanya OK"?

(Footnote: There has been an appeal for TENTS, food, clothing and basic supplies for the villagers who have had all their belongings destroyed in the demolition and are now left under the rain with no shelter. Those kind enough to contribute support in this difficult time can contact Encik Hamzah, who will be coordinating some of the aid, at 019 249 2065.)
Post a Comment