The Bukit Jalil estate residents obtained an interim injunction for 21 days from the court, thwarting DBKL's plan of evicting them.
KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Jalil estate residents scored a minor victory this morning when the court granted an injunction against the demolition of their houses.
When lawyers N Surendran and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri told the residents about the court order, the news was greeted with a resounding applause.
Also present were Human Rights Party (HRP) pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan, Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar, Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shaani Abdullah, MIC Youth members and scores of other activists.
There were no Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officers at the scene.
DBKL is looking to evict some 41 families, some of whom have been living on the estate for generations.
In 1980, the government acquired the land for redevelopment and the land is said to be owned by Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd.
The government offered RM23,000 each to residents who have worked on the estate for more than 15 years while the rest were offered RM11,000 each.
However, DBKL refused to grant four acres of land requested by the residents to build low cost houses.
On March 1, DBKL issued new eviction notices to the residents and the deadline expired yesterday.
Arutchelvan, however, reminded the residents that their problem was merely postponed for the time being.
“This is a political struggle. It’s now up to the Barisan Nasional government whether they want grant the four acre land or get a court order to quash the injunction,” said the PSM leader.
He added that there was no law in Malaysia that provided a safety net for the poor and was sceptical that the court would give residents a fair trial.
“We will take it up in the courts but it is up to the latter whether they want to uphold justice or serve to please its political masters,” he added.
Shaani called upon the government not to neglect its social responsibility when dealing with the poor.
“This is not only about former estate workers but the democratic process itself.
“As a responsible government, they should respect democracy and not resort to using emergency laws to evict people as it is against human rights,” he said, refering to the previous eviction orders issued under the Emergency Ordinance.
Among the non-governmental organisations present were Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit), Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Malaysia (Gamis) and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Residents Association (Permas).
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — Malaysia failed to live up to the human rights standards it had committed to in 2006 in its pre-election pledge to the United Nations Human Rights Council (Council), a Commonwealth human rights watchdog said yesterday.
A report by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) that corresponds to the first two years after the March 2008 election said that Malaysia made little progress to advance human rights domestically, allegedly using “draconian legislation” to stifle dissent instead.
“While Malaysia claimed in its pledge that it had succeeded in achieving a balance between human rights and security requirements, the continued use of draconian colonial-era security legislation suggests otherwise,” said the CHRI.
“Malaysia made specific commitments to advance the rights of vulnerable groups, including refugees and asylum seekers. The findings of the report indicate, however, that little substantive progress was made on this pledge.
“Malaysia further pledged to work towards making the council a strong body. Despite this pledge, the report’s findings show that Malaysia mostly voted to shield countries with human rights situations of serious concern from international scrutiny,” the international NGO said.
In 2006, Malaysia was one of 18 Asian candidates that contested the 13 seats reserved for Asia in the council. Malaysia was elected fifth in the Asian Group, with 158 votes.
Malaysia decided not to seek re-election to the council when its three-year term ended in May 2009.
The report titled “Easier Said Than Done” said that Malaysia allegedly continued to used “draconian legislation” such as sedition and press laws to stifle dissent.
It noted that “the highly controversial Internal Security Act” which allows for detention without trial remained in effect at the end of the reporting period, which was from mid-2008 to mid-2010.
“Journalists in Malaysia were reportedly harassed and opposition members were intimidated. Much needed police reforms did not occur, while police abuse, custodial deaths and extrajudicial killings were frequently reported.
“Additionally, the death penalty and corporal punishment continued to be practised. Malaysia’s National Human Rights Commission remained weak, while discrimination based on religion and ethnicity continued to be a major concern,” it added.
The CHRI also said that despite Malaysia’s pledge to actively support international action to advance the rights of vulnerable groups including children, refugees, asylum seekers and legal and illegal migrants still suffered and child marriages continued to take place.
Malaysia also discouraged the efforts of United Nations Special Rapporteur investigators on torture to consider whether the death penalty constituted a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, said the report.
“It also reacted strongly against an attempt by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression to comment on the defamation of religions,” the CHRI wrote.
The CHRI also reported that Malaysia discouraged scrutiny of Myanmar and Sri Lanka, looked at Cambodia positively, supported weaker resolutions on Congo and Sudan and abstained from voting North Korea and a resolution on discrimination based on religion or belief.
According to the CHRI website, it is an independent, non-partisan, international non-governmental organisation, mandated to ensure the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth.
When they have no money to raise even RM 1,700 bail what more to pay the lawyers legal fees and cannot take leave to attend the many court hearing days the racially profiled Indian poor mere suspects are forced to plead guilty whether they are guilty or not.
While scores of thousands of these Indian poor are jailed it is win win win for UMNO, their racist police force, racist Attorney General Gani Patail and their mindless DPPs’, UMNO Courts and a big lose, lose, lose for the defenceless Indian poor.
(see NST 10/3/2011 at page 6)
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice
We laud the setting up of “Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia” (Proham).(Report in the Star 13th March 2011) As much as we are appreciative of the formation of yet another Human Rights organization in the country, we are equally apprehensive that this may be just another toothless Human Rights organization or worse still yet another organization to legitimize current UMNO regime’s racist practices. What makes us apprehensive at the outset that this organization may amount to very little more, if at all, is the fact that it totally lacks new credible Human Rights Defenders’ in the list of its officers. All the leading office holders except two are ex-Suhakam Commissioners. One does not need to be reminded of Suhakam’s record of defending Human Rights in the country – it is shameful, to say the least. And most of the office holders in this new organization are part of that same Suhakam team to whom that shameful record may be attributed. Can we be faulted for our apprehensions premised on this very very sad and continuing experience. For starters Proham wants to begin its career on March 21st 2011 with a roundtable discussion on “ the United Nations Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination”, in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrim-ination. Noble as that sounds, it appears that it will be just more vague talk as with all the toothless talk they have engaged in, in the past while in Suhakam. If the Proham Officers are serious and mean real Human Rights business and want to make a difference to the nation, and not just to use Proham to further burnish their individuals biodata, then they should conduct a more relevant and specific discussion on the current controversy surrounding the novel “Interlok”. They should invite people from across the spectrum for a panel discussion on 21st of March 2011 instead, to evaluate the truth of the allegations that the book is racially divisive and a tool to perpetuate racism by UMNO. We would like this to be an open and meaningful discussion. It is our clear opinion that the UMNO government promotes its racist ideology through covert means by making this book a part of the compulsory education curriculum for the young of our country. Containing many serious negative racial stereotypes, this book damagingly perpetuates the Ketuanan Melayu racist ideology subtly into the future. It is this kind of racist tendencies within society that organizations like the Human Rights Party or Proham or Suhakam are supposed to check. Does Proham have it in its DNA to rise to the challenge. So, Proham, if you are serious – do not begin in vagueness, begin with your end clear in mind. N.Ganesan National Advisor Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and the Human Rights Party
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.