Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High Court breaks hearts of estate workers

The High Court delivered a blow to former Bukit Jalil estate workers, dismissing their injunction application to stop DBKL from demolishing the former estate houses.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed an application by the former Bukit Jalil estate residents for an injunction against the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which had proposed to demolish houses of the former rubber estate.

Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof in her ruling said DBKL had the authority to evict them under the Emergency Ordinance.

She also dismissed an application for interim injunction pending appeal.

However, the residents have said that they will not let off their fight for proper compensation and would be filing an appeal against the ruling today.

On March 1, the 41 families residing in the former estate were slapped with eviction notices by DBKL, asking them to move out within two weeks.

But they obtained an interim injunction after an ex-parte hearing on March 14 to stop the eviction notice under the Emergency Ordinance.

The notices were referring to an offer made by the Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Ministry in February, offering RM23,000 each to those who have worked on the estate for more than 15 years while the rest were offered RM11,000 each.

This offer has not been accepted by the former estate workers or their next of kin.

At a press conference later, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan said they were upset over the ruling.

“Based on natural justice, it will be inhumane for DBKL to demolish the houses till the trial is over,” said Arutchelvan who was flanked by the estate action committee secretary S Thiakarajan and Hindraf Makkal Sakthi national coordinator K Balakrishnan.

Seeking Najib’s intervention

Arutchelvan urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to intervene and stop DBKL from demolishing their homes.

“This case has much in common with the Kampung Buah Pala incident. Though the residents there had their application for injunction rejected, the state government intervened to ensure the developer did not demolish their houses before the trial was over.

“So now, we are asking Najib to intervene here. Besides, Ladang Bukit Jalil is government-owned land,” Aruchelvan said.

In 2009, 23 families in Kampung Buah Pala had their homes demolished after a legal tussle with developer Nusmetro Ventures which had acquired the land.

However, the state government intervened and compensated the villagers.

Lawyers for Liberty coordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said she was disappointed with the ruling and would be filing an appeal on behalf of the residents by today.

“It is sad that the judge had said DBKL was empowered under the EO to evict them when even the minister (Federal Territories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin) had recognised them as former estate workers,” she said.

2nd Year Black Anniversary of P.Uthayakumar & M.Manoharan’s release from 514 days ISA detention on 9/5/09.

Today (9/5/2011) marks the 2nd year black anniversary of P.Uthayakumar being released from ISA detention at the Kamunting Prison, Taiping.

On this day we recollect how Uthayakumar had refused to sign the conditional release from ISA detention and was literally bundled into a prison van and then 1 (175)thrown out of the Kamunting Prison. In the process he suffered bruises to his left leg.

We also recall how Uthayakumar refused to even meet the Home Minister when he visited Kamunting Prison in early 2009 in consistence with Hindrafs’ motto of “Rights not Mercy”.

And how by this Hindraf sent a strong message to the racist and religious supremacist One Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government that Hindraf is not frightened of the UMNO jails.

On this day we acknowledge the thousands of Hindraf supporters prayers, public campaigning, sacrifices of taking beatings by police, water cannons and tear gas, arrests and other sacrifices and P. Waythamoorthy’s overseas campaigns won our freedom from the racist UMNO P2030108_0002tyranny. If not for this year we would have today been marking our 4th year black anniversary in Kamunting Prison.

And today we praise the lord that unlike the other traitors of the Hindraf cause, Manoharan Malayalam has been and is still is with the true Hindraf cause.

Despite the above ISA release there is still a further 3 years jail sentence hanging over Uthayakumar because of Hindraf’s “ethnic cleansing” letter to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown including  on the Kg Medan  racial attacks targeted against the Indian poor where 5 Indians were killed and 100 over others were caused grievous bodily injuries.

And this Hindraf spirit lives on to this day when in February 2011 some 400 over Hindraf  activists were arrested in total during the Interlok protest nationwide, and on Hindraf Anti UMNO racism Rally on 27th February 2011 alone 123 were on police record to have been arrested and jailed (our estimate is 300 over arrested).
1 (166)And within one week onwards in early March 2011 some 54 Hindraf hardcore activists were prosecuted for being members of Hindraf which carries up to 3 years jail.

Despite all the above the true Hindraf spirit and struggle continues irrespective of the oppressive and repressive racist and religious supremacist UMNO regime.

Rights not Mercy.

S. Jayathas
Information Chief HRP & Hindraf

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