Rabu, 27 April 2011

Depa ni nak tanah, bukan rumah

PERAK Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has been invited to visit Kampung DBI in Buntong to see for himself the living conditions of the residents there.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) deputy secretary-general R. Rani said the village action committee members had requested to see Dr Zambry, hoping that he would give them a date to meet and discuss matters pertaining to land in the village.

She, however, said it would be even better if Dr Zambry could visit the village and see the condition and situation that the residents were living in.

Rani said the demands of the 120 families were to get land titles but, if that was not possible, then the residents wanted three-room terrace houses to be built costing RM16,000 each, as what was agreed upon in 2007.

She said although the agreement did not materialise as the Datuk Bandar had changed, they wanted the terms and conditions to remain the same without compromising on the quality, size and price.

"There is no point for the residents to keep on going back and forth handing over memorandums to officers who are not decision makers.

"This is a policy matter and Dr Zambry should step in and make a decision. Until today, the committee members of the village have not been approached by the Mentri Besar's office for any form of negotiations or talks.

"Letters after letters have been sent and the politicians have been making all sorts of statements through the media but nothing concrete has come out of it," she told reporters at the village recently.

Rani said the state government had announced previously that those squatting on government land would be legalised, and questioned what had happened to that policy.

She said the village had existed even before Independence, and workers who used to work for the council with a low salary could not afford to purchase a house after retirement.

Rani said therefore, wooden houses were constructed near the quarters. However, in the last 14 years, the council wanted to demolish the quarters for development purposes but the residents managed to get a court injunction which is valid until today.

She said that in the last three years, due to development taking place at nearby areas, snakes started to appear in the residents' bathrooms and bedrooms. One villager died last November after getting bitten by a snake.

She said the villagers were only able to maintain the area where their houses were constructed and not the entire place.

"Complaints have also been made to the authorities but to no avail. Therefore, if Dr Zambry visits the location he would get a better understanding of the problems faced by the villagers," she added.

On claims by the Mentri Besar's adviser (Indian affairs) Datuk S. Veerasingam that there were more outsiders than villagers during a demonstration outside the state secretariat building on April 13, Rani said the allegation was not true.

She said there were about 150 people gathered at the place, out of which 100 were residents of the village while the rest comprised PSM members and people from other villagers with a similar plight
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