MP arrested as residents’ demand for land title falls flat

Eleven residents arrested with Sungai Siput MP, Dr. Michael Jeyakumar for gathering in front of Perak State Secretariat. They were demanding the state government to give them a land titles.

A protest held by the residents of Kg Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh (DBI) in Ipoh recently turned ugly when the Sungai Siput MP, Dr. Michael Jeyakumar, who was present to vouch for the residents, was arrested along with eleven others.

Jeyakumar was arrested after the police refused to grant the residents with the permission of meeting or holding any form of discussion with representatives of Perak Mentri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir.

The residents are demanding to be given with the land titles on which they have been residing on for some fifty years now.

Former workers of the Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh, who have been fighting for the past fourteen years to rightfully claim the land as their own, occupy the land.

The last straw for the previously patient residents came when one of the former residents passed away last November after being bitten by a snake.

“The place is not being maintained so it is getting increasingly dangerous with the presence of snakes and so on,” said Saroja, one of the residents.

The drama during the protests did not end with the arrests alone, as Hindraf Makkal Sakthi’s P Ramesh was subsequently rushed to the Ipoh General Hospital as he started vomiting after being arrested.

The residents later attempted to get into the Ipoh IPD in order to lodge a police report against the arrests, but were barricaded by officers to refused to grant them entry.

The Perak state government announced in 2009 that any land occupied by squatters for more than ten years would automatically belong to the squatters.