I am upset that Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua during a recent press conference misinformed the public in regards to my involvement in the controversial attempted relocation of five disabled hawkers in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.
During the press conference, Pua mentioned me as ‘not turning up’ for a hearing meeting held on March 8 by MBPJ over the Taman Megah market controversy where five disadvantaged hawkers, including a woman in a wheelchair, complained that they were being harassed and intimidated to give up their legally obtained slots to another place.
If Pua had checked his facts – like any responsible person should have done – before issuing such public statements, not only would he had discovered that I was not extended an invitation, but also that I was specifically told by MBPJ not to come for the meeting.
I was asked to attend the usual Sustainable Development (Mampan) meeting (for councilors) instead, where I could present my views.
Another completely false accusation by Pua against me is that I did not discuss the issue with the Zone councilor for the area (Tiew Way Keng).
If the MP had bothered to call me personally he would have found out that I have spoken to the councilor beforehand and had also advised her not to go ahead with her attempts to relocate the five disabled hawkers in Taman Megah.
Selangor DAP chief Teresa Kok promised me that Pua would call me to clarify the matter when I called her, but the call is yet to come.
Despite being a disabled myself, I am puzzled and saddened as to why my views on the matter was not sought even once by Tiew or Pua.
Pakatan chose me as a councilor specifically due to the fact that I would be able to offer advise on matter regarding disability, something which I have been doing since I started this job three years go.
The reason I got involved in the case is because the disabled victim approached me for help.
I was also asked to represent MBPJ and received a memorandum from the group because the affected hawkers had lost their confidence with the area councilor.
I was also present when police reports were made against the councilor to reassure the victims that MBPJ and the Selangor Government would never tolerate discrimination of any sort from anyone.
I am happy to report, however, that justice has finally prevailed with MBPJ declaring that all the five hawkers should remain where they are with no one pressuring them anymore to move from their original slots.
Anthony SB Thanasayan is a councilor for the Petaling Jaya City Council