Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Perak Government's decision to back down on the acquisition of the DIA is a total victory for the united and determined local Indian community

Perak government’s decision to back down on the acquisition of the Dindings Indian Association land is a total victory for the united and determined local Indian community.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zamry announced yesterday that the Perak state government had decided to withdraw its decision to take over the Dinding Indian Association (DIA) land in Sitiawan for a school expansion project.
He said state MIC chairman Datuk S. Veerasingam would meet Manjung Land and Mine District Office officers to revoke the proposed gazetting of the 2.2ha land by the Education Ministry to make way for the Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Simpang Empat project.
The Perak government’s decision to back down on the acquisition of the DIA land is a total victory for the united and determined local Indian community.
In my meetings with the community, I have described the proposed acquisition as being insensitive, unnecessary, unfair and unjustifiable.

There are three very important facts which I wish to put on record:-

Firstly, the land has historic and sentimental value to the local Indian community as it was purchased in the 1930s with money donated by ordinary rubber tappers from over 35 estates in and around Sitiawan

Secondly, there are nearby lands which can be acquired for public purpose.

In fact, just about 1/2 kilometer from the proposed acquired land, there are 2500 acres of oil palm estate known as Sg. Wangi Estate which belongs to the Sime Darby group, a Government linked company (GLC).
Some 15 years ago, about 150acreas of land were acquired from Sg. Wangi Estate by the Defence Ministry to build an airport. There is therefore no reason why part of this estate land cannot be acquired to build a new school.

Thirdly it is common practice to relocate schools from town and city centers due to traffic congestion. The DIA land is in the center of Sitiawan town. Does it make sense to built or rebuild a school in town center?

The Perak government’s decision to withdraw the acquisition is therefore logical, right and indeed unavoidable as no responsible and caring government can justify such a proposed acquisition.

Nevertheless, the arrogant and insensitive BN government as usual will need to be shown the people power before it is willing to back down.
In the mean while until and unless we are officially notified we will proceed to ask all to attend the hearing of the acquisition which is scheduled on 25thAugust2010. We will also go all out to visit house to house to distribute pamphlets and information on the proposed acquisition
People power shown by the local Indian community has therefore forced the Perak government to back down.

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