Saturday, July 31, 2010

Didn't I Say This Would Happen?

LUKUT: Workers at Siliau Estate, near here, are angry with the Barisan Nasional for being fork-tongued in its pledges. During the Bagan Pinang by-election last year, the BN government had promised to build as many as 150 low-cost houses under its Hardcore Poor Development Project (PPRT). The houses were to be sold to the estate workers.

But less than a year later, BN went back on its word saying that it had never promised to sell them the PPRT houses but merely pledged to rent them to the workers.

During a recent visit to the estate, FMT discovered that few, if any, knew that the PPRT houses were not for sale.

Said K Chandra, 42, a palm oil harvester: “I don’t know anything about this. They did not tell us that the houses were for us to rent. They told us we could buy them.”

Chandran, however, did not seem surprised at BN’s about-turn on the election promise.

“I am not shocked or upset. We all heard BN promise to sell us the houses. If it does not fulfil its promise, our votes won’t go to BN anymore,” he said.

He said there were now 30 families in the estate. The rest had left and were working outside.

"But we are still close and keep in touch with each another. So it's not easy to break the Siliau estate population for political purposes," he smiles.

He also said the estate people were not staunch BN supporters and had only given BN a chance in the by-election to see if it would keep its promises.

“If BN fails to fulfil its promise, more than 400 voters will turn to Pakatan Rakyat,” he said, adding that most of the estate workers had sent their applications and documents to buy the PPRT houses by the end of this February.

“We filled up the forms and attached the necessary documents. The MIC branch chairman himself collected the forms from us,” said Chandran.

Unfair deal

Another harvester, C Puspavalli, said it was not right that the BN “change its words” now that it had won the by-election.

“I am very disappointed because once the BN said it wants to sell the houses to us, now it wants us to rent. This is not fair at all.

"During the Bagan Pinang by-election, MIC promised that the houses would be sold to us.

“After the BN won the election, the local MIC chief met us and gave us several forms to fill so that we could buy the house.

“But he did not collect back the forms although he stayed only two rows in front of my house," she said.

A mistake

MIC secretary-general and state MIC leader T Rajagopalu could not be reached for comment.

However, Negri Sembilan exco member and MIC's elected representaive VS Mohan, when contacted, said the Housing and Local Government Ministry made a mistake in announcing that the houses were not for sale.

"We have already informed the ministry and brought the matter up to Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan.

“There was a mistake… normally PPRT houses are only for rent and not for sale but the Ladang Silau PPRT project is an exception, which the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin himself had announced.

“So, I feel the estate workers need not worry or be concerned about the matter,” he said, adding that he will meet the estate workers soon to explain the situation. - Free Malaysia Today, 22 July 2010

I kept this article from FMT for a week or so which described about the grouses by the Indians in the Silau estate. This was way back during the campaign period in Bagan Pinang. At least I enjoyed four great days in Port Dickson, meeting with some people and seeing the election fever.

On the evening of the count, I was a with people taking down the tallies on the areas that formed this state seat. I came to notice that almost all votes in Silau goes to BN. And interestingly, not many people in that estate go out and vote there as well!

I noticed that this trend was repeated in Hulu Selangor. I once cautioned that the kingmakers of the both elections are not Malays but the non-Malays themselves. But what both have in common in both by-elections is that they fell sway to promises. And a few months later, when all settles down to dust, they still get nothing from what was promised.

In a way, I think this is tantamount to giving ang pows during last minute and like one of my friends said, if the Malays think of the past a.k.a overdraft, Indians think of present times, a.k.a Hindraf, while the Chinese think of the future, a.k.a bank draft. Isn't this more or less of felt being cheated in various ways?

Didn't I say and warn that this would happen if we simply sway to promises by our rulers who have done nothing much significant in the past?

Right now, the problem is of still showing support to the present leaders who have not done much contribution to the people's benefit but still afraid of being cheated. Read this letter from Malaysiakini that mirrors my opinon there.

1 comment:

  1. In Kampung Buah Pala the Indians got terrace houses as compensation. Yet, many Indians were lambasting the Penang government. In Bagan Pinang the Indians were indeed the kingmakers but they choose to believe the lies of BN who have screwed them for 53 years. In Hulu Selangor the Indin votes was crucial to the BN win and what have the Hulu Selangor Indians got for their support? The BN government connected a water pipe to a Tamil school which have been without piped water since independence and called it a great achievement. Why didn't BN connect the water pipe which is a basic necessity under 50 years of their rule. Who controls SYABAS if not UMNO. Obviously, SYABAS is not going to help the PR government look good to the people.

    Why then do the majority of Indians keep voting for BN? The PR governments have not achieved a lot in two years of power but at least they increased the state coffers while trying to lessen the burden of the people such as the free water scheme in Selangor and the RM100 aid for senior citizens in Penang. When was the last time BN helped the rakyat without emptying the treasury? I hope Indians are not too stupid and shortsighted to change.


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