Who can solve Bukit Jalil estate workers problems?

August 3rd, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Its a pity that we have to read this problem every few months. You can search just in this blog and find that Bukit Jalil estate workers issue already started in 2007 itself. 3 years of ding-dong. MPs came and went. DPM came and went. One MP even shed tears. MIC came and went. HRP came and went. DBKL came and talk and talk and talk. Opposition also came and went.

And surely you remember the school to be located into cemetery vicinity? Yeap, the same area. Malaysia Boleh!

Somewhere in April this year, FT Ministry gave out compensation to some of the workers:

ONLY two former Ladang Bukit Jalil Estate workers have come forward to claim compensation from the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry.

The two workers — P. Malliga, 47, and her mother, D. Thanabakkiam, 64, are among the 93 workers from the estate near Jalan Puchong. The estate was taken over by the government in 1980s and operations ceased in 1992, forcing the workers to lose their jobs.

The remaining 91 workers could not attend the cheque-presentation ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall headquarters on April 22 due to unforeseen circumstances.

Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said RM734,160 had been put aside for these workers but only 29 would receive the money during the first phase.

“These 29 workers have proper documentation to successfully claim the compensation but I urge the remaining workers to come forth and claim their money,” he added.

The workers are advised to visit the DBKL headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut next Thursday to speed up the process.

“The rest of the workers will be given the compensation as soon as the documents and statutory declarations are complete,” Saravanan added.

Workers with the estate for seven and a half years are entitled to RM6,370 while those with 15 years of service and more will be given RM11,620.

Development work on the land have not begun as some 40 families are still residing on the grounds of the former estate.

Thanabakkiam and her daughter are among the few who shifted into PPR Muhibbah five years ago. Thanabakkiam said the estate was also home to dangerous wild animals.

“Once I felt something on my feet and, thinking it was my pet cat, I shook it off only to see a cobra slithering away. We use to have wild boars and monkeys wreaking havoc in our homes as well,” said Thanabakkiam, who served at the estate for 40 years.

Malliga added that flash floods were very common and their homes were in a terrible state. She also said the move was a blessing in disguise for them.

And as recent as June, DBKL said no eviction until discussion by FT Ministry and HR Ministry (MIC folks). Then, on July 20, the residents received eviction notice. Means what? Discussion over?

THE 41 families from Bukit Jalil Estate feel cheated by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) over a promise made to them that they would not be evicted until their housing matter is resolved through a discussion.

On June 8, the residents received a letter from DBKL stating the city council would postpone demolition of the houses at the estate.

It also stated DBKL had received orders from the Federal Territories and Urban WellBeing Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan that the next course of action would only be taken after a discussion between Federal Territories and Urban WellBeing and the Human Resource ministers.

However, the residents received a final eviction order on July 20 asking them to evacuate their houses by tomorrow.

Resident S. Thiagarajah said the families felt that the letters were contradictory and it seemed like DBKL was not keeping their word.

“Now we are to move out by tomorrow and failure to do so will not stop DBKL from demolishing our homes. What about the promise made to us in the June 8 letter?” he said at a press conference yesterday following DBKL’s announcement on July 30 that the land would be converted into a cemetery.

Kajang councillor S. Arutchelvan said a local authority had the right to enter a piece of land and evict squatters after giving them notice under the Clearance of Squatters Regulations 1969.

However, former estate workers are not squatters, he said.

“Squatters are illegal as they build houses on private or government land, but former estate workers were given houses built by a company with the full knowledge of the Government,” he said.

Arutchelvan said although the workers were asked to move into the public housing scheme at PPR Muhibbah in Puchong and given the option to buy, it was not a permanent solution to the problem.

He said they should be given permanent homes.

He cited Ladang Braemar in Kajang, Ladang Bukit Tinggi and Ladang Sungai Rasa in Klang and Brooklands Estate in Banting as examples where workers were given permanent homes and compensation.

Federal Territories and Selangor Community Association (Permas) president and Subang Jaya councillor Tan Jo Hann urged both the Federal Territories and Urban WellBeing and the Human Resource ministers to sit down with DBKL and the former estate workers to discuss the matter.

Right now both ministries and DBKL are passing the buck to one another and the workers are the victims. This mixed development is not well thought out and the authorities should not use eviction notices on these people,” he said.

The issue of the estate workers also garnered interests from neighbouring housing areas, as residents feel converting the estate land into a cemetery was not a suitable option.

Alam Putra Residents Asso-ciation chairman R.S. Maniam said a cemetery in the area was not wise planning, and according to local agenda 21, the local authorities should get neighbouring residents’ input before a plan was carried out.

“We have the right to have a say but we were not consulted,” he said.

No wonder people from Kampung Baru to rumah panjang Subang to Kampung Jinjang Selatan Tambahan don’t trust these people in DBKL. Got black and white also no point, everything can be changed. (Not to mention, own minister word also worthless 🙂 ).

It gets worse here. The resident said Mayor PROMISED to postpone eviction:

THE Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is standing by its decision to evict the former estate workers from Ladang Bukit Jalil today despite the residents’ appeal to postpone the deadline.

The workers were told the eviction order dated July 20 was valid and they have to move out by today, as demolition works could be carried out any time after the deadline expires.

In a brief meeting between the residents and DBKL deputy director (services) Datuk Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz yesterday, Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s special representative Azman Abidin said he was informed the eviction order was valid, although a letter dated June 8 stated the local authority would postpone demolition of the houses at the estate.

The letter also stated DBKL had received orders from the Federal Territories and Urban WellBeing Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan that the next course of action would only be taken after a discussion between the ministers for the Federal Territories and Urban WellBeing Ministry and the Human Resource Ministry.

The ministers have not delivered what they have promised and until then, it is unfair to evict the residents because they are not squatters, they are former estate workers,” said Azman.

He said the ministers should address the issues in the area, which also involved a Tamil school and temple.

“These issues should be resolved first before the workers are evicted. I was told by Amin to ask Khalid to convince the residents to move out to the nearby PPR Muhibbah, but the residents do not want that,” he said.

Resident S. Thiakarajah said City Hall was labelling the former estate workers as squatters and wanted them to take up the PPR housing scheme.

Once we take it, we will be given RM1,000 and automatically we will lose our rights as former estate workers,” he said.

He added that the residents were disappointed with DBKL and the ministries, as there were no follow-ups or meetings after the June 8 letter.

“All of a sudden we receive an eviction order on July 20, although two days later, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail promised Khalid to postpone the eviction order during a meeting with the MPs,” he said.

If protest, kena from police or labelled troublemakers or pro-opposition. If keep quiet, then lose out.

So, who can help the estate workers? Don’t tell this problem also need PM Najib to interfere. Others do what then?

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