Posts Tagged ‘Negeri Sembilan’

former Tanah Merah Estate workers to get land and house

September 13th, 2011
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After waiting for 20 over years, hopefully their dream will come true. If we can provide so much for the proposed refugees from Australia, surely we can do at least equally or better for our own citizens.

 

For the 150 former Tanah Merah Estate workers and their families, news that the state government is to acquire land to build houses promised to them two decades ago is definitely a cause for celebration.

Many of the former workers, who are now renting houses in low-cost schemes outside the estate, had almost given up hope that the pledge made to them years ago would be honoured.

M. Mariamah, 72, a rubber tapper, is looking forward to moving into one of the houses the state plans to build on the 6ha site in Tanah Merah near here.

“After years of waiting and hoping, the homes promised to us will finally be built.

“Many of us were born there and it is where we raised our children, too … but once we retired, there was no choice but to leave the estate,” she said at her son’s house in Taman Jimah Jaya.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan gave him the good news during a meeting at the MB’s office in Wisma Negeri in Seremban last week.

Dr Chua said the pledge to help the estate workers own houses had been made by a former Barisan Nasional representative, but could not be fulfilled due to several factors.

It was learnt that the state government would spend some RM2.7mil to acquire the land from Sime Darby.

R. Govindasamy, 55, said he was glad the long wait was over.

“Almost 80% of the residents of the low-cost houses in Taman Jimah Jaya were former Tanah Merah Estate workers.

“Many of us could not afford to buy our own homes and had no choice but to rent low-cost houses nearby,” he said.

G. Malliga, 52, who was a general worker at the estate, said she had been renting a three-bedroom low-cost home for RM200 a month since leaving her job due to health problems.

Port Dickson local council member Datuk King C.F. Lim, who met with some of the former estate workers and their families yesterday to share the good news, said he was grateful to Dr Chua and Mohamad for making good on the promise.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/13/nation/9463330&sec=nation

estate folks get clean water 100 years later

September 5th, 2011
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I’m at loss at what’s to be proud here. Maybe the state exco can highlight it. 100 years (ok, make it 54 years, since before Merdeka it was under colonial rule), last raised in February, settled in September. One wonders what all the previous excos and authorities were doing all this while.  Should have hauled up the estate owner, slap a hefty fine or even jailed some of them. Oh wait, does our law protect such citizens?

Families in an estate here waited a century for clean water supply. And now their dream has come true.

Previously, residents of the Leong Hin San estate had to depend on a small well and an unhygienic pond for water.

However, state exco VS Mogan, who oversees the estate affairs, human resources and environment portfolio, negotiated with Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS) to connect water supply for the residents’ houses.

“The residents received the water supply about a month ago and the cost of the installation for the houses was around RM120,000,” he said.

According to Mogan, this was another example of how MIC and the Barisan Nasional government were concerned about the welfare of estate workers.

“If there are any other residents in the estate who still do not have water supply, please come forward in order for us to help you,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mogan also directed the estate management to carry out maintenance work on the workers’ houses as well as to ensure hygienic living conditions.

FMT highlighted the plight of the estate workers in February.

The estate’s union leader S Murugan told FMT then that residents found snake skin, dead frogs and goats in the pond from which they collected water.

The union had raised the issue with the estate management for years, but the problem was not fixed.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/09/05/100-year-wait-for-water-supply-over/

low cost flats are modern day slums?

August 12th, 2011
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Wonder how true this is. I know some of the low cost flats look unhygienic, cramped and one feels unsafe to be in the vicinity.  Its takes some awareness on the residents part as well as the provision of proper facilities on the developer/authorities behalf.  Living in small flats or apartments is not conducive if crowded with 5 to 6 people (or even more). Some families take care of the elderly and/or siblings, so don’t be surprised if there are even 10 people living in one small flat. Have seen such cases in newspapers.

The lack of facilities (and maintenance) deprives the children and youths of outlet for their energy and time. They may end up associating with wrong groups and wrong activities that lead to social and criminal problems.

Having mixed-development projects is good way of integration, but nowadays we are seeing mostly high-end and very high-end projects being launched. Just reading newspapers on weekends can show how many housing projects being advertised, and I don’t think can find any below RM500k/unit.

Developers here will be asked to build affordable houses for those in the lower income group rather than flats which are cramped and “always associated” with social problems.

Likening poorly maintained flats as “modern-day slums”, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Moha- mad Hasan said the people, especially those with many children, should be allowed to live in a more conducive environment.

He said the state government was prepared to lower the 30% quota for low-cost homes in a project if developers were willing to build low-cost houses rather than flats.

“Also, since the demand for low-cost flats here is extremely poor, developers should look at ways to provide dwellings that are attractive,” he said, adding that it was pointless to relocate squatters to only house them in such units later.

Mohamad said building low-cost flats was also not a viable solution as property near such units might not be able to attract buyers.

“It would be better if the developer can build 30 to 40 affordable houses rather than build 100 units of flats which remain empty.

“We want a win-win situation for developers, house owners and low income earners. Build houses that everyone can call home,” he said.

Mohamad said the state government would also direct developers to increase the minimum width of low-cost houses from the present 16ft (4.8m) to 18ft (5.4m).

“Houses need to be bigger so that occupants are comfortable.

“We are reviewing this and its implementation is expected soon,” he said.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung made similar calls to developers, saying they should opt for low to medium-cost houses for the lower income group in areas where land was not expensive.

“Landed homes are more comfortable for those with a big number of family members,” he said.

He said if developers found it difficult to build landed low-cost houses due to the high prices of land, they must still ensure that the apartments they constructed were of good quality.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/8/12/nation/9283985&sec=nation

more non-Malays get aid from NS Welfare Dept

April 28th, 2011
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Hmm…does it mean got lots of poor non-Malays in Negeri Sembilan? BTW, it would have been good to have the breakdown of the allocation and recipients, so that can be more transparent.

Interesting to note that in the span of 7 years, the number of recipients increased 5 fold.

The correct way is to provide without looking at the race or religion. If poor, means poor la. Not poor Malay or poor Indian etc.

I just hope the term hardcore poor, poor and low income is updated. RM450 is not hardcore poor, but worse than that. I think hardcore poor should be upgraded to those household earning RM750 and below while poor should be from RM751 to 1500. Low income should be from Rm1501 to RM3000.

THE number of non-Malays getting financial aid from the Welfare Department in Negri Sembilan is higher than the number of Malays, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

He said talk that the state government only gave financial aid to needy Malays was not only baseless but is akin to a “hate campaign” against the state leadership.

“There are voices here and there which say that the state government only gave aid to Malays. It is sad that some people are willing to stoop so low and spread lies to discredit the state government,” he said at a meet-the-people session organised by the Rembau MIC at Bandar Seremban Selatan.

Citing an example, Mohamad said when he took over the state leadership in 2004, the number of people receiving monthly aid from the Welfare Department was just above 4,000.

“At the end of December last year, the number of recipients increased to 21,875. The state government spends close to RM5mil a month to give out aid to the needy and non-Malays account for more than half the number,” he said, adding that RM60mil was allocated annually for this purpose.

Mohamad said the number had surged almost five-fold after his government introduced the social security and safety net plan.

“I am proud to say that we do not have hardcore poor in Negri Sembilan today due to our social security and safety policy,” he said.

Under the programme, households with total earnings less than RM450 a month were given aid by the department.

“The people are also given aid by other agencies such as the local councils, Negri Sembilan Foundation as well as by Barisan Nasional assemblymen,” he said adding that the majority of the 1,115 people who received allowances in his constituency were also non-Malays.

Mohamad however, said the Malays also received allowances and aid from the state Islamic Affairs Council and Baitulmal.

The aid is given out from the zakat (tithe) paid by Muslims.

He said any individual, irrespective of race, colour or creed would be given aid as long as he or she was eligible.

“Our agenda is to strengthen unity. Negri Sembilan is a progressive state because we give priority to strengthen unity that has been long built by our forefathers,” he said.

Mohamad said the state received RM5.1bil in investments last year and this showed that foreigners had faith in the country’s system.

In a separate event, Mohamad handed out financial aid amounting to RM40,000 to needy families.

He also presented revision books and monetary rewards to students who did well in their UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM examinations.

Some 4,000 people, including MIC president Senator Datuk G Palanivel, information chief Datuk V.S. Mogan and former vice-presidents Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan and Datuk S. Sothinathan attended the event.

Earlier, Palanivel received forms from some 600 new members to join the MIC.

Palanivel also gave out loans totalling RM60,000 from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia to allow women to venture into business.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/4/28/central/8557298&sec=central

Justice for Johnny the Dog

December 21st, 2010
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I’m not sure if anyone remembers the story of Johnny the dog. He’s the one who was shot dead while being in the compound of his owner’s house by some criminals hiding behind their position as staff of Tampin Municipal Council. Its going to be 4 full months now and still the 55 year old Singaravelu is being made to go around looking for justice. Will justice be served? Can we still believe in excuses like “officer on long leave”?

Singaravelu is losing hope as the authorities are keeping pushing the buck. Whatever happened to “no wrong door” policy? Maybe he should complain to Public Complaints Bureau headed by Senator Murugiah. He shares his story below:

SEREMBAN: Security guard S. Singaravelu is losing hope the authorities will provide justice to the unlawful killing of his licensed dog, Johnny, shot inside the compound of his son’s house in Tampin allegedly by Tampin Municipal Council enforcement officers on Aug 24.”It has been nearly four months and the Tampin Municipal Council seems to be washing their hands off this case,” Singaravelu, 55, told The Malay Mail.

“Last month, I approached the Negri Sembilan Veterinary Services Department for help. A staff at the department listened to my woes patiently for almost two hours. She then advised me to write a letter to both the council and the department to explain my situation as well as to seek justice and compensation for my loss.

“I did that three weeks ago, and my letters to the council and department included my police report which I lodged after my dog was killed. I also sought compensation of RM1,800, including cost of burying Johnny. I am still waiting for a response from both parties.”

Over the past week, The Malay Mail tried to contact the council’s president, Razali Bakar, and council secretary Zulhilmi Marzuki, but to no avail.

Last month, Zulhilmi said a decision on whether the officers involved in the shooting of Johnny had erred would be made by Razali by this month.

Zulhilmi had earlier told The Paper That Cares that a committee comprising three division chiefs, appointed by Razali, was set up to probe Singaravelu’s allegation, and if the officers involved in the operation were found to have gone against the council’s rules, disciplinary action would be taken against them.

The council had, however, forwarded its investigation report to the Tampin Veterinary Department and Tampin District Office for action, too.

But the Tampin Veterinary Department revealed that it did not receive any such document from the council.

However, an officer at the department, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the department carried out an investigation into the matter and that its role in this case was just as an adviser.

“Our department’s regulation states we are not allowed to shoot dogs kept inside the compound of a house. We are also not allowed to shoot licensed dogs. Our investigations found that these officers had informed the dog-shooting team from the other two bodies about the regulations,” the officer told The Malay Mail.

“In fact, our officers even warned them not to shoot when they are about to carry out the act. Despite their best efforts, the shooting went on. I do not know whether their regulations allow them to shoot licensed dogs inside house compounds. We are definitely not involved in the shooting.”

On Aug 24, Singaravelu was dismayed to find Johnny, which he found two years ago at a market near his house at Taman Minang in Tampin, missing.

His suspicion was aroused when he saw three Tampin Municipal Council vehicles leaving the area at about 12.40am that day. He trailed them and when they stopped in Taman Batu Belang, he saw Johnny’s bloodied remains inside one of the vehicles.

The 10 men in the vehicles, one of whom had a gun, refused to let Singaravelu take away Johnny’s carcass, except to remove the dog licence and also allegedly challenged Singaravelu to lodge a police report.

The men also claimed they shot Johnny because of complaints by neighbours.

“I was traumatised and could not stop crying,” Singaravelu had said before lodging a report at Tampin police station.

The next day, he was shocked to find Johnny’s carcass in a jungle near Taman Batu Belang. He then brought the remains back and held a small funeral.

Singaravelu travelled to Ampang in Selangor to meet with officials of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor on Aug 26.

The next day, SPCA animal inspectors Danny Thang and V. Murugan visited him in Tampin to investigate the incident.

Earlier, this is the reason given by the council:

SEREMBAN: There will be more waiting before we know whether the Tampin Municipal Council’s enforcement department has violated regulations by allegedly shooting Johnny, a two-year-old licensed dog, on Aug 24.

The council’s secretary Zulhilmi Marzuki told The Malay Mail yesterday a decision whether the officers involved in the dog-shooting operation had indeed erred was to be made by council president Razali Bakar next month.

“He will be back early next month and only then a decision can be made,” he said, adding that only Razali, who was on his pilgrimage in Mecca, could make a decision.

Zulhilmi had earlier told The Paper That Cares that a committee comprising three division chiefs, appointed by Razali, was set up to probe the allegation, and if the officers involved in the operation were found to had gone against the council’s rules, disciplinary action would be taken against them.

He had also said disciplinary action, if taken, would not involve the other two bodies which were also responsible for executing the dog-shooting orders as both were beyond their jurisdiction.

The council had, however, forwarded their investigation report to the Tampin Veterinary Department and Tampin District Office for their action.

The Veterinary Department revealed they had not received any such document from the council and seemed to have washed their hands off the matter.

A veterinary officer from the department, who asked for anonymity, said the department had carried out internal investigations into the matter.

“Our department’s role in such operations is as an adviser. Our department’s regulation states we are not allowed to shoot dogs kept inside the compound of a house. We are also not allowed to shoot licensed dogs.”

The officer said two of their officers were involved in the dog-shooting operation on Aug 24 and statements had been taken from them.

… The officer said numerous complaints were often received by all three bodies regarding stray dogs in the neighbourhood where Johnny’s owner, S. Singaravelu, stays.

“We received complaints from the neighbourhood of dogs attacking and biting people.”

Its hard to imagine that some things have to wait until the boss comes from the holiday, but it does happen, as in this case. Earlier than that, Singaravelu said that he will pursue his cause for as long as it takes.

S. SINGARAVELU said he will ensure that justice is served to his beloved dog Johnny no matter how long it takes.

“The council is simply dragging the issue. I don’t care if it takes months or even years. I will still pursue this case.”

Singaravelu said three officers from the Tampin district veterinary department visited him about two weeks ago and asked him to retract the police report he had lodged.

“When they asked me to do so, I refused to budge. I asked them whether they admitted to being at fault and they said yes. They also said they will give me a new dog to replace Johnny,” he claimed.

However, a veterinary officer from the department — who asked for anonymity — said they had not asked Singaravelu to retract his police report.

“We did not ask him to retract the report. We just told him it was wrong to include our department’s name in the report as we were not involved with the actual shooting.

“Singaravelu said he did not know as he is illiterate. We did, however, tell him if he is sad with what happened to Johnny, we could get him another dog. To that, he said he will speak to our District Officer about it.

“But when we followed up with him, he refused to speak to our District Officer. We are not sure why.”

In fact, two months ago, he said he plans to sue those involved:

SEREMBAN: Emotionally tormented S. Singaravelu, who lost his two-year-old licensed dog Johnny to shooting by the Tampin Municipal Council officials two months ago, is planning to sue the council to seek justice for his pet’s brutal death.

“If the owner failed to take action, only then can they consider shooting the dog,” he told The Paper That Cares last week.

The 55-year-old security guard told The Malay Mail: “I don’t care about money. In fact, if I win the court case, I will donate the money to animal shelters such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“What I want is justice for my beloved Johnny. I do not want anyone else to go through such misery and injustice. No one should go through what I am going through.”

Since the death of his dog, SIngaravelu has forked out money, especially to travel to Ampang to meet up with officials of the SPCA Selangor, but felt the extra financial burden would be worth it if he managed to get justice for Johnny’s death.

“We humans know a lot of people, but it is not the same with dogs. The only people dogs know and love are their owners. Their owners are everything.

“Johnny’s world revolves around me. I am deeply saddened by his death. I still cannot believe he is gone. The emptiness inside me is indescribable. No other dog could replace Johnny.”

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung, who was disgusted with the way Johnny was killed, had asked Singaravelu to take legal action against the council as “the authorities or those involved had no right to shoot a dog inside a house compound”.

Chor had said even if Johnny was a nuisance and many had complained about it, shooting the animal was not the solution as the council should have issued a notice to Singaravelu to explain the problem and gave him time to do something about it.