When I wrote the entry for 'Worlds Apart', I did not have a still camera on hand to capture some of the scenes. Coincidentally this Saturday afternoon, I had a still camera with me even if it be a simple Olympus, one which I was using for the seminar mentioned above. And even though the seminar was supposed to end at 2pm, I left early at 12.15 just to be present at the site where the message came from. The picture below, and more on Pictures-Only here, shows of the condition of the houses I mentioned in 'Worlds Apart', though the present condition has generally improved since that visit. Except for the house or shed as seen below and which resembles the living condition of foreign construction workers in Malaysia, where many Malaysians do not wish to speak of or if they do, speak ill of them only.
Sadly however, the house-shed do not belong to neither the foreign workers, nor of illegal squatters, but of Malaysians who had lived on that land for more than 40years. In a sense, they belong to the pioneers of modern Klang Valley, and a city that came to be the capital of Malaysia. The children of these pioneers, contribute to the growing city as much as anyone would care to admit. And for their contribution as well as their parents, their houses were demolished (including the surau there), and they were nearly evicted from their land by the previous state government.
I believe, many people would still remember the picture of women and children crying, men arrested and some beaten, while they were trying to protect their homes from being flattened and bulldozed in the name of development. In truth, the land that was promised to them by the State Government 40years ago, was being robbed by greedy politicians of the past administration.
Even after their house were demolished, the villagers stood their ground. They build sheds to protect their family from natural elements, and fought their ways in and off the Courts of Law...and won.
More info at Jerit website here.
Precisely at 1pm on Saturday afternoon, a motorcade arrive at Kampung Berembang near Ampang, with VIPs from the Pakatan Rakyat State Government of Selangor. Amongst those present were YB Tn Hj Shaari Sungib, YB Iskandar Samad, YB Dr Nasir, YB Azmin Ali, and several more, accompanying YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to a ceremony for the handing over of house-keys to the brave people of Kampung Berembang.
To the people of Kampung Berembang: Syabas! May you and your family live prosper in your new homes.
More pictures at Pictures-Only.
ps. For a somewhat insightful picture of Perak, do read Ajijoi here as well as ckcounterpunch here.