MP’s urgent motion on evictions dismissed

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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.

Bukit Jalil estate workers highlight their plight at Parliament

Jeyakumar said he would attempt once again on Monday, 14 March – the eve of the scheduled eviction of one of the longest remaining estate in Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, Dr. Jeyakumar filed a motion citing the issue as urgent with consequences for all the other remaining plantations in the country. As expected, that motion was rejected.

Meanwhile more than hundred ex-workers and their families with several organisations came to Parliament house to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader. They were greeted by Light Strike Force personnel, who initially stopped them but later the people managed to push through half way in-between the bridge to Parliament House.

The workers carried banners and placards. They shouted slogans briefly.

The people were involved in a stand-off as the police wanted to only allow five people but later several MPs led by Dr Jeyakumar and Gobind Singh along with Mahfuz, Tian Chua, Charles Santiago, Nurul Izzah, Sim, Firdaus, Khalid Samad and Abdullah Sani brought ten representatives to Parliament house.

Also present with the delegation were PSM Central Committee Member V.Selvam, Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit) coordinator E Nalini and several others NGO activists from Suaram, Permas, Dema, JSML and others. Also present were PSM’s Secretary General S Arutchelvan.

The Committee was represented by Thiagarajan, its secretary, and treasurer K Balahkrishnan. They handed a memorandum to Datuk Ghazali Ibrahim from the Prime Minister’s Department while a copy of the memorandum was also handed over to opposition leaders and was received by Nurul Izzah, Tian Chua and Mahfuz Omar as the Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is suspended from Parliament.

READ MORE:  Laws needed to protect tenants from eviction

The memorandum titled ‘Give us land and stop the forced evictions’ called on the Prime Minister to allocate just four acres of land for the workers to build houses and stop the forced evictions on 15 March.

Dr Jeyakumar called on the Prime Minister to be responsible and stop the evictions. He also urged all MPs to go to Bukit Jalil to stop the evictions on 15 March.

Emergency motion in Parliament by Sungai Siput Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj

Permohonan Menangguhkan Majlis Mesyuarat seperti diperuntukkan di bawah Peraturan 18 (1) dan 14 (10)( h) untuk Merundingkan Isu Pengusiran Bekas Pekerja Ladang Bukit Jalil pada 15 Mac 2011.

Tuan Yang DiPertua, 41 bekas pekerja Ladang Bukit Jalil telah menerima Notis Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur bahawa mereka harus mengosongkan kuarters pekerja mereka sebelum 15 Mac 2011, kerana rumah-rumah mereka akan dirobohkan pada hari itu.

41 bekas pekerja ini merupakan generasi ke-empat yang telah berkerja di Ladang Bukit Jalil, Batu 16½, Jalan Puchong, 58200 Kuala Lumpur.

Pada tahun 1980, Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan telah mengambil alih pengurusan Ladang Bukit Jalil dan pekerja ladang menyambung pekerjaan di bawah Kontraktor yang dilantik oleh Kerajaan.

Pada tahun 1988, Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan pernah berjanji rumah teres kos rendah akan dibina untuk mereka di kawasan berdekatan dan bahawa pekerja Ladang Bukit Jalil boleh terus menduduki rumah kuarters sehingga rumah gantian disiap bina. Malangnya, rumah teres kos rendah tidak diberi dan sekarang bekas pekerja sedang diusir keluar dengan tawaran wang antara RM11,986 dan RM 22,852 seorang. Wang ini dikatakan wang ehsan tetapi hakikatnya adalah ia merupakan jumlah caruman KWSP dan Perkeso yang gagal dibayar oleh Kontraktor yang dilantik Kerajaan.

Bekas pekerja Ldg Bukit Jalil memohon

– Janji perumahan gantian dalam bentuk rumah teres ditunaikan ataupun tanah seluas empat ekar diberi pada mereka untuk tujuan perumahan;

– Pekerja dibenarkan menduduki rumah kuarters mereka sehingga perumahan gantian disediakan;

– Notis pengusiran ditarik balik; dan

– Ordinan Darurat Pembersihan Setinggan 1969 tidak digunapakai oleh Kerajaan dalam pengendalian isu pampasan untuk kumpulan bekas pekerja ini.

Isu ini memang perkara tertentu dan berkehendak disegerakan kerana mengikut notis Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, pengusiran akan dilaksanakan pada 15 Mac 2011. Isu ini juga berkenaan dengan kepentingan orang ramai kerana:

a/ Beratus-ratus pekerja ladang di seluruh negara akan menghadapi pengusiran dalam 10 tahun yang akan datang kerana pembangunan di kawasan mereka akan mengakibatkan pemberhentian kerja dan pengusiran daripada rumah-rumah kuarters mereka;

b/ Pampasan dibuang kerja yang dinyatakan dalam Akta Kerja adalah lebih kurang RM400 se tahun kerja – hanya RM12,000 sahaja untuk seorang pekerja dengan 30 tahun servis. Ini tidak mencukupi untuk membeli rumah kos rendah, dan merupakan punca utama untuk masalah “setinggan” di bandar-bandar kita;

c/ Pembuangan pekerja ladang dengan pampasan yang tidak mencukupi, pengusiran secara paksa dan peminggiran komuniti bekas pekerja di kampung setinggan ataupun di rumah-rumah pangsa yang sempit dan yang tidak diurus dengan sempurna adalah sebab utama untuk masalah jenayah di kalangan pemuda India.

Perbahasan terhadap isu pampasan yang sempurna dan perumahan gantian untuk bekas pekerja ladang akan membantu menetapkan garis panduan bagi mengendalikan isu pemberhentian pekerja ladang dan akan seterusnya mengurangkan masalah “setinggan”, masalah peminggiran bekas pekerja ladang, dan juga masalah jenayah di kalangan pemuda kita.

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