After 56 years of independence the plight of poor Indian Malaysians has changed very little, laments Dave Anthony.
An image of northern Belaga, based on Google Earth, shows the extent of deforestation in Sarawak — and gives the lie to claims that native people are responsible for deforestation due to shifting cultivation, says our correspondent.
MP for Sungai Siput Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj’s urgent motion yesterday morning to debate the evictions of Bukit Jalil estate workers was dismissed by the Speaker as there were other pending motions to be debated.
Ketuanan Rakyat observes that the government’s proposed Orang Asli land policy is a recipe for planned poverty.
If we thought that
dealing an electoral blow to the Umno-led BN would serve as a wake-up
call, we’d better think again. Far from learning
anything from the rebuke, the new cabinet is proof that not one thing
has got in those thick skulls, observes Tingang.
All the Malaysia Plan documents have classified estate workers as among the poor and disadvantaged sectors in Malaysia. What the government has failed to do is to add specific provisions to regulations regarding termination benefits to provide adequate protection to retrenched estate workers. Jeyakumar Devaraj calls for the law to be amended to protect their rights and welfare.
Establishing plantations in the 1.5 million hectares Bakun Catchment is likely to threaten the viability of the Bakun Dam and the Bakun HEP, warns Philip Khoo. The Sarawak state government must provide some answers quickly.
Aliran is dumbfounded by Plantation Industries Minister Peter Chin’s assertion that tropical rainforests in Malaysia have not been cleared to plant oil palm in the last 10 years.
The Minister was defending the plantation industry from allegations that plantations destroy rainforests and wildlife habitat, increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to a loss in biodiversity. "I would like to reiterate here that Malaysia is not destroying rainforests for palm oil production," he was reported as saying.
After interviewing some Indian Malaysian families in an estate, in a low-cost housing area and in a longhouse within the outskirts of the Federal Territory, David Anthony was surprised – but not shocked – to find that their socio-financial situation has worsened over the years. Rights, he laments, remain written in the clouds never reaching the poor and helpless on the ground.