Posted tagged ‘flood’

Johore Menteri Datuk Abdul Ghani bin Othman where is your Tenang by-election promise to kg Veera residents?

September 5, 2011

The Gemas-Johore Bahru double track railway project will force many Indian settlers along railway tracks in Johore homeless. These Indian families are from low income group and settled in this land for 40/50 years before even gazette for railway tracks.  The ministry of transport is making all arrangements to start off the project without any intention to resettle the thousands of families living on the land earmarked for double track railway project in Johore. I call upon the minister of transport to reconsider the issue of settlers’ eviction and come out with resettlement plan before starting the double tracking project.

These settlers were promised compensation and alternative land during elections period but till date this promises by the BN government remain empty. During the Tenang by-election, 22 settlers from kg Veera, Tenang were shown a muddy low lying land where the residents will be resettled by Asokan the MIC state assemblymen. Johore Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani bin Othman too told the residents that they will be given an alternate land to resettle. Similar promises were made during previous elections also. But till date nothing came out of these promises by MIC politicians and the Johore Menteri Besar. These empty promises of Johore Menteri Besar and MIC politicians show that the BN government is only interested in tricking the Indian voters to vote for them in elections. Once the votes were secured these BN politicians conveniently forget the Indian community.

The Pakatan Rakyat coalition while ruling Perak state government and the present Penang state government helped to compensate the railway double track land settlers. 300 squatters from Kuala Sepatang, Perak were allocated alternative land to resettle by KTM Berhad and the Railway Asset Management Corporation during the Bukit Gantang by election. RM42000 was given as compensation to 32 settlers in Seberang Perai when they were evicted for double track railway project. If Pakatan Rakyat government can ensure that the affected settlers in Kuala Sepatang and Seberang Perai can be compensated why can’t BN federal government and BN state government compensate these Kg Veera settlers and many others in Johore? BN government of Negeri Sembilan has compensated Malay reserve land owners whose land was acquired for railway double track purposes. Since there is a precedence of compensation for double track settlers, why is Johore Menteri Besar and Asokan keeping quiet in Kg Veera and other railway double track settlers claim?

Why are the MIC leaders and Johore Menteri Besar who made these promises keeping quiet? Does it mean that BN only want Indian votes and couldn’t be bothered thereafter? Malaysian Indians in Johore are neglected and ignored by the BN government. Yet MIC bends backward to secure Indian votes for this ungrateful BN government. MIC is a party with no dignity and pride. MIC made the Malaysian Indian community marginalized and homeless by the BN government. Malaysian Indians must realize their predicament and act decisively. They must not allow themselves to be cheated by empty promises, dinners, entertainment shows and provision hampers. Malaysian Indians must stand up and be counted as equal citizens.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan


Tenang by election not an indicator for Indian vote for BN

February 2, 2011
Tenang by election is the most unsatisfactory selection of representative to state legislative assembly. The election was conducted under the worst wether condition where the voters could not leave their house due to heavy downpour and rising floods. The election commission should have started thinking and get prepared for the worst when the raining was continuously pouring before the election date. Unfortunately, the election commission was sleeping on their job. Tenang and Labis towns were drenched by floods and heavy rain. Voters were stranded in their flooded houses without any transport to polling stations. The bad governance of Johore BN government has escaped the voter’s reprisal these far, due to their proximity to Singapore. Youths and many other have jobs, businesses and educational opportunities in Singapore. Public security in Labis is much safer compared to many northern states. Labis voters were seeing opposition parties campaigning house to house for the first time. These efforts will bear results in the forth coming elections. PR parties do not have local presence compared to BN. This seems to be a severe handicap for PR.

On the voting day in Tenang the election commission was totally unprepared and ill equipped to run a fair and free election to choose a peoples’ representative. Voters’ turnout in Labis town, North Labis estate, voules estate and Tenang town were very pathetic and the affected voters were robbed of an opportunity to cast their votes. Army vehicles were only used to transport flood victims from kampongs to schools and Dewan Serbaguna and not to transport the stranded voters in estates, housing and town areas. The Malaysian government machinery is not competent at mobilizing support and resources in time of calamities and disasters. Therefore, the results of Tenang by election under such demanding conditions do not reflect the peoples’ choice and preferences. Under such demanding conditions adhering to strict neutrality and fairness is anybody’s guess. The campaign workers on the ground were clueless and did not know as to flood victims or voters that are being driven pass check points by army vehicles.

Voter turnout was higher in FELDA settlements compared to town, housing schemes and estates. Voters from FELDA who are all Malays and Bandar Labis Tengah who are predominantly Chinese voters have voted for BN and PR respectively.  But Indian voter turnout from North Labis estate, Voules estate, Labis town and Tenang station is poor due to the severe flood problem. To conclude that Indians have voted for BN is stereotyping and not supported with evidences. Campaigners in estates and housing areas for Indians voters can hardly believed that Indian voters have voted to BN in high percentages. Voters’ sentiments and feeling were different. House to house campaigns in housing estates did recognize the Indian voter’s desire for change and how the BN government was short changing them by giving entertainment and handouts.  Many voters felt disgusted at the continuous aid given to poor Indians by welfare department without any permanent and tangible settlement to their problem. They are the landless people of Malaysia today. Besides the handouts, the government machinery was all out to instill fear in them especially in estates. Many have outgrown these same old dirty tactics of BN and were prepared to vote for opposition to send a message to government. Indian votes are changing along with the others. It’s their smaller numbers and when mixed with other races when they come topolling station that makes Indian voter trend difficult to access. Those who claim 80-90% Indian vote for BN have ulterior motives in their claim. Such swiping remarks should not deter campaign workers for it is not the ground reality.  It’s unfortunate that the heavy rain and sudden flood have deprived these voters voting rights.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan