Friday, August 6, 2010

Bkt Jalil folks want more time, seek PM's help

By B Nantha Kumar

BUKIT JALIL: The 41 families, whose houses are on the brink of being devoured by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) bulldozers, have turned to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for help.

This morning, the residents submitted a memorandum to Najib's office in Putrajaya, requesting for more time to decide on a new offer made by DBKL.

After living and working in the Bukit Jalil estate for decades, the residents felt that DBKL's three-day grace period to them to make such an important decision was simply unfair.

“We live in a democratic country. Malaysia is not a communist state,” stressed K Balakrishnan, a member of the estate action force committee.

"They gave us only three days to decide. Many of the people here are uneducated. How do you expect them to make a decision within three days?” he asked.

The memorandum was also sent to Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin and Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

Yesterday, DBKL had offered the residents a RM80,000 flat unit each for RM35,000. The residents were given until midnight tomorrow to decide.

After their eviction deadline expired on Tuesday, the residents vowed to put up a fight even if it meant facing the wrath of the police's anti-riot personnel.

They also believed that there is more than what meets the eye behind the claim that the land, which was allegedly sold to a former minister, would be converted into a cemetery.

'A ploy to break us up'

Meanwhile, Balakrishnan said the residents had little faith in DBKL, and the new offer was also enveloped in uncertainty, with regards to obtaining bank loans to purchase the flat units.

Echoing his views, another resident said there were several former estate workers who took up a similar offer from DBKL in the past but could not secure banks loans.

"Yes, we can take up the offer but will the banks give us the housing loans. What's the point in taking up the offer but not being able to get the loans. DBKL must address this issue,” he said.

The resident, who declined to be named, also accused DBKL of using underhand tactics to get them to vacate their houses.

According to him, former estate workers, who took such offers, were being used to convince them to take up the new offer.

"Yesterday, I received a note from a former resident who said that if I agreed to move, DBKL will give me an additional RM10,000.

“If this is true, they should make the offer public and let us decide. Make the offer to all of us, not only to a selected few. This is just a ploy to break us up," he said.

While the residents denied squatting on the land, DBKL, however, claimed that only 12 of the 41 families were former estate workers, while the rest were squatters.

Boy: I was slapped, kicked by police for no reason

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: A 14-year-old boy has claimed that he was repeatedly slapped, kicked, and handcuffed till his wrist was badly injured by a police constable when he was arrested for no apparent reason.

The boy further alleged that during detention on Tuesday night, he was threatened and forced to sign a document to "confess" to his crime-- sexually assaulting a young girl.

Recounting his traumatic experience, M Mugelen said he was taking a swim with his friends at a pool at the Pantai Hill Park condominium at about 7pm with four other friends when police approached them.

"Four policemen came up to us and one of them asked us 'who disturbed the girl?' and we answered we did not," he said.

"I did not even know the girl, who is about eight or nine years old. Why didn't they question a group of Malays who were also nearby?" said Mugelen, adding that he suspected the girl's family had lodged a false report to stop him and his friends from swimming at the area.

Mugelen said he was subsequently slapped three times on the left cheek and all five of them, aged between 14 and 17, were brought to the Pantai police station and later the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

One of Mugelen's friends, 17-year-old P Thanasegar, alleged that when he was brought there he was handcuffed to a motorcycle and not given any helmet. He was also allegedly kicked in the stomach.

"At the station, my friends were released but I was left alone at about 10pm. A constable, Yani, with the police number 140179 then asked me what was I doing at the pool. When I answered nothing, he slapped and kicked me. He also tightened my cuffs until I was in so much pain," said Mugelen. Doctors later told him that his wrists were dislocated.

"I cried the whole time and I thought about Kugan, and I became so afraid that I would die like him. The same policeman then told me this was 'a little bit pain only, wait till you enter prison'," said Mugelen. (A Kugan, a suspect in the thefts of luxury cars, was found dead while in police custody last year.)

'Investigate the constable'

Mugelen said he was later brought to another room where he was asked to sign a document he believed was a confession.

"I was so scared that I just signed it. They told me if I did not sign I will go to jail," said Mugelen, who stopped schooling since he was 11 as he did not possess a birth certificate then.

Mugelen was relased at 2am the next day after a RM5,000 police bail was paid by his family, but not before he was again kicked by another unknown policeman.

Human Rights Party Selangor Youth chief S Thiagarajan, who highlighted the boys' plight, said the party is urging police to investigate the constable for the alleged attacks on the boys.

"Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1947, this officer should be charged and sentenced to two years for cruelty to the boy. Also, it is wrong under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution to arrest someone without telling them what is his offence," said Thiagarajan, who asked if police were practicising racial discrimination with the boys' arrest.

Brickfields district police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said both reports were received but investigations into the alleged abuse have been passed over to Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

When contacted, Kuala Lumpur deputy police CID chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said the boy is being investigated for alleged molest.

"We will not cover up; investigations are still ongoing," he said.

Family to commit suicide if forced to Islam