Media statement by M. Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman at Lim Gardens on 26th October 2015
Democratic Principles of Consultation
Any decision making concerning land that is next to a school and has the characteristics of residential land, should take the rights of the school and its surroundings neighbors into consideration before any major decisions are made to convert the Land. For instance there should be consultation among authorities with the school and surrounding residence on any commercial proposals that would affect the integrity of the school and peace of the neighbors.
St. Philomenia a Tamil girls school was built some time in the early 1930’s. It served as the main primary Tamil school for the children of parents residing in the Buntong area.The school has a enrolment of students from surrounding areas. In the last few years the school has been one of the top achievers in the UPSR exams.
Absents of space for playing Field
The main set back of the school is the lack of a playing field for the students. For over 20 years the school and the parent’s teachers association (PIBG) have been applying to the state authorities to alienate a piece of land measuring some 1.5 acres to the school to be used as a playing field. There is a vacant land adjoining the school which is readily available for this purpose.
instead meeting the legitimate and lawful request of the school, the strategic land which could be utilized as a playing field has been alienated to Yayasan Perak a State subsidiary. None of the adjoining neighbor’s or others was ever consulted on this “secret” alienation. The basic question that comes to mind is why has the State failed to seek consensus with the school and surrounding residence before alienating the said land? Why has the state failed to exercise the alienation in favor of an open field? Was there any corruption involved in forging a secret deal between state officials and commercial elites? Priority of alienation of the land should have been for the open field since it meets the needs of school students for space that could be used for sports and co- curriculum activities.
Residence in the Dark
The school administrators, parents and the immediate neighbor’s are now in a shock that this priceless land has been agreed to be developed into a commercial shopping area. Yesterday the Parents Teachers Association President St. Philomena Mr. Jayaselan, the representative of residents from Solok Segar M/s A. Jayanthi of Lim Gardens and residents from Kg. Tai Lee met up with me as the MP for the local area to discuss this issue. All present agreed that the 1.6 acre is most suitable to be left as an open area and to be cleared for the school to use as a playing field and to be enjoyed by the adjoining neighbors
As the local council is now in the process to consider the request of the developers to convert the said land from housing to commercial, all present have agreed to present objections to it. The principle objections of the commercial development are,
1) The school and the adjoining neighbors will be denied a open field
2) traffic will increase and will cause inconvenience to surrounding residence
3) The Church parish will be severely affected due to traffic congestion, during normal and festive time.
4) The school is too near for commercial development and may disrupt the learning context of students.
Alternative Land for commercial development
In view of the above it is obvious that the alienated land does not serve the common good of the surrounding area, because the State authorities have denied the right of the school for a playing field and surrounding residence the right to scrutinize development plans that could affect their collective wellbeing. Therefore the developer should be asked to look elsewhere to develop commercial lands and the state can easily alienate land for this purpose.