ladang bukit jalil plantation workers given eviction notice

November 19th, 2007 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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details about the location of tamil school being surrounded by graveyards can be read here.
Plantation families to lose homes

By : Danutcha Chelliah

KUALA LUMPUR: Just give us a home we can call our own and the respect we deserve for our dedication to the country. 

So say the plantation community of Ladang Bukit Jalil after being slapped with eviction notices by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). They have to be out by Thursday and the demolition of their homes is set for Friday. The 58 families were labelled as squatters after a census in the area in April last year, despite being employed by developers with contracts with DBKL to work the land since 1980.

Ladang Bukit Jalil residents action committee secretary Thiakarajan Sathasivam, 54, said their pleas for an extension and a fair resettlement deal have fallen on deaf ears.

"We have sent so many appeal letters but never received a reply. Five days ago, we delivered a letter to the prime minister. Hopefully, he will postpone our eviction. "We are also hoping discussions with DBKL will materialise this week," he said.

The community has been offered accommodation in the nearby Project Perumahan Rakyat, but according to Thiakarajan the agreement drafted by DBKL only offers a three-year tenancy without the option to purchase the homes when the term was up. If the head of the household dies, the agreement ends, leaving the rest of the family homeless.

Housing is not the only problem this small community has to contend with. The new Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (T) Ladang Bukit Jalil may be boxed in by cemeteries, a crematorium and a detention centre. "The cemetery land will be segmented according to the different religions, 13.97ha in total, while our 103-year-old temple and new school have been allotted 0.4ha to share.  "How are the children going to study, sandwiched between a crematorium and graveyards? "We need at least 5ha for the school, so we have a proper field. Who is more important, the living or the dead?" asked the school's parent-teacher association chairman, S. Balakrishnan, 46, who fears the projects may already be confirmed as construction on the detention centre has begun.

The pupils and their parents were out in full force yesterday, calling for a new location and a resized plot to be gazetted for the school.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced the school's relocation on Oct 16, saying the 61-year-old school was in a state of dilapidation, especially after being repeatedly hit by floods.

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