Friday, November 23, 2012

DIA is only Custodians of the Indian Heritage land.

Media statement by M. Kula Segaran MP for Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Ipoh on Thursday, November 2012

DIA is only Custodians of the Indian Heritage land.

On 15thNovember2012 local Indian leaders, NGO's and concerned people gathered to discuss how best to play a role to save the Indian Heritage land of Sitiawan.

We now learn that the trustees of the 2 hectare land in Sitiawan have entered into a joint venture with a company known as Kong Ong Development Sdn Bhd.

The local people are not happy that this Indian heritage land which is worth over more than RM 20 million would end up in the hands of non Indians.

This Indian heritage land was bought with donations from Indian labourers who had raised their monies from what they    had earned as rubber tappers in the 1930's

Let me remind Dindings Indian Association (DIA) that they did not buy this land. It was bought from the monies provided by the rubber tappers and others and registered in the Name of DIA. Thus DIA and its officials are only CUSTODIANS of the land.

The dealing with the land must at all time be done in the furtherance and benefit of the ordinary labourers and local Indians.

In some of today's Tamil papers it is reported that the joint venture entered will benefit the Indians as a hall of 4000 seating capacity will be built and 39 shop houses will be built and sold to Indians.

By all means build a hall but raise your own money and build. Don't sell Indian heritage land and build.

In the whole of Sitiawan, we have more than 1000 shophouses yet only less than 10 Indians own shop houses. Why? Because Indians don't have the means and it costs over a million Ringgit to buy shop houses.

All this deal by DIA is a “lose lose “situation to the Indian community.

DIA needs to state weather was open tender to develop called? How many other and more so local Indian developers were considered before entering into a joint venture development with Kong Ong Development Sdn Bhd?

As requested earlier , we want DIA President N.Krishna and his committee to come to Gandhi Hall, on 25thNovember2012 at 3.30pm and explain to all why this joint venture is necessary and in particular to satisfy all on the following main issues of public importance:

1) Produce the Joint Venture agreement( J/V) and explain and justify the terms;

2) How will the J/V promote the economic well being of local Indians?

3) How many other developers were considered before entering into this J/V. Why choose King Ong Development Sdn Bhd ?

4) How will the Gandhi Hall be preserved as this is a heritage building with Gandh’s ashes buried there?

5) The property is worth over Rm20 million now. How will the J/V see the community deriving at least Rm20million with this J/V?

6) Why has DIA failed to have discussion with the local Indian Community before the J/V was entered?

DIA cannot and should not act on the land as though the land belongs to them personally.

The local Indians want the DIA committee to be present with the above requested details and to give a full and true picture of the deal and how it will protect and benefit the Indians in the Sitiawan area.

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