The people of the village who were mainly Malays tried to put up resistance. But against baton-wielding enforcement officers and at least one bulldozer, they were badly outnumbered. Their new homes were demolished without consideration and care. The only empathy shown that day was by the driver of the bulldozer as he was about to demolish the village surau. The engine died and he failed to restart it and after several attempts, he just broke down and cried. And of the mercy shown by the villagers towards him - they helped him down and even gave him water. But for the villagers, there were none given. They were, in the words of a popular lawyer, 'bastardised' in a land they were born.
The exact date I cannot remember but it was in May 2005, and that village was not a solitary incident.
In Selangor, many villages fell too as the then State Government had a new slogan: Zero Squatters Colony. The fact that most of the 'squatters colony' were awarded 'Pioneer Status' mattered little to them as the land where once stood such villages became the property of property developers. Of the many, only Kampung Berembang stood defiant and victorious but only after their homes were demolished and the subsequent battles in and out of court. The hero for the villagers there is none other than YB Tien Chua.
It was Tien Chua who stood defiant against the enforcement officers and their machinery. But hey. isn't he a Chinese who stood alongside the Malays, when the Malay MPs of the ruling party were notably absent and worse, silent throughout the tragedies that occurred then? "Bastardised', the people were.
In Islam, a bastard - those people born out of wedlock - are never guilty for their being. Rather, it is their parents who are. In the world today, the word is almost akin to a 4letter word. However, a more hideous, heinous 4letter word that has yet to make as an entry in many dictionaries is a word that begins with the letter 'u' and ends with an 'o'.
Title: Behind Bars / A Possible Future: A Self Portrait
Self Time, Long Exposure