Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hindraf hails revelation but questions remain - Malaysiakini

The Hindu Rights Action Force today welcomed the move by the Penang government to declassify certain documents pertaining to the 'Tamil High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala crisis.

However, the outlawed movement chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the state government's revelation had raised more questions than answers.

NONEIn releasing the documents, he said the DAP-led state government had accused the previous Gerakan government of alienating and selling the Indian traditional village land in a dubious manner.

“However, why then Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng endorsed its sale three weeks after he took over the state government? Why didn't Lim make an attempt to stop or delay the transaction?” he asked.

Waythamoorthy agreed that based on the documents provided by the state government, it was clear that the land was “robbed by the previous Barisan Nasional administration”.

But he could not understand why the new Pakatan Rakyat government had allowed the allegedly fraudulent transfer to take place after it came to power.

The transfer was executed on March 27, 2008 - 19 days after Pakatan captured Penang in last year's general election.

The London-based Hindraf leader also questioned why Lim had failed to revoke the transaction when he was informed about the matter by the villagers' previous lawyer, Cecil Rajendra.

Gerakan-led government to blame

Based on the declassified documents, Wathamoorthy said Hindraf was not in the slightest doubt that BN under its previous chief minister Koh should be held accountable for the sale of the land.

p waythamoorthyBut Waythamoorthy (right) said there were many unanswered questions pertaining to the allegedly fraudulent land deals.

“How did the land given to the villagers and held on trust by the government was sold to a private landowner – Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang?

“How could a land sold at a discounted RM3.21 million suddenly rocket up to hundreds of millions after the land has been transferred to the cooperative society?

“Why is Lim dragging his feet in finding a permanent solution to the problem - that is to exercise his authority under the Land Acquisition Act?

“Indeed, Lim should erase the delusion that hundreds of millions were involved to acquire the land when the Act states only a reasonable sum of compensation.”

Village demolished if not for Hindraf

Waythamoorthy also urged Lim to stop accusing the villagers of “displaying aggression, hostility and arrogance” for refusing to meet him last Wednesday.

kampung buah pala villagers buy land compensation letter 060709 02He said the residents had made it clear that they wanted to be represented by a lawyer of their choice at the meeting, not one handpicked by Lim.

He also ticked off Lim for insinuating that Hindraf was a BN collaborator.

Hindraf, said Waythamoorthy, was an apolitical movement that does not condone any wrongdoing by the government, whether BN or Pakatan.

He said if not for Hindraf's timely intervention, the village would have been flattened by now.