Bukit Jalil Estate residents head for Parliament

The beleaguered former workers of Bukit Jalil Estate today extended their appeal to Parliament, through opposition MPs, who moved two motions to debate the issue.

One of the motions was put in by Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj yesterday, who requested the house to deliberate the dispute resolution mechanism for former estate workers.

Accompanied by some 100 Bukit Jalil Estate residents who rallied in front of Parliament today, Devaraj said the estate is a mirror of many similar cases in the country, where workers have been frequently displaced without valid reason.

The matter has become even more pressing as DBKL’s eviction order to the residents expires next Monday (March 14), Deevaraj (right) added.

However, the speaker of the house rejected the motion today, with the reason that a similar motion had been filed on Tuesday.

“As such, I will raise the motion again on next Monday,” Deevaraj said.

On a related note, Batu MP Tian Chua, Pantai Dalam MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong, have zeroed-in on the draconian Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 1969, which has become the authorities’ chosen law to evict estate workers.

“We filed a motion to request a revocation of the Act because it has been used to victimise our own people,” said Nurul Izzah.

Chua urged DBKL, and the Federal Territories and Wellbeing Ministry, whose RM23,000 offer of compensation was rejected by the residents, to continue negotiate with the land occupants.

“Emergency Ordinance should never be invoked for such matters,” he said.

Parliament is expected to consider their motions within 14 days.

Two busloads of residents had arrived at Parliament today at 11am. Carrying banners and chanting, “we want our rights”, they were however barred from entering the Parliament compound.

Some 10 Opposition MPs including Devaraj, Nurul Izzah and Chua later joined them, and brought one resident each into the people’s assembly.

At Parliament, residents’ action committee member, S. Thiakarajan, handed over a memorandum to the government of the day, represented by the Prime Minister’s special officer, Ghazali Ibrahim, and to the opposition, represented by Chua.

In the memorandum, residents repeated their call for a four-acre plot of land to be given to each of them, or to compensate them with new terrace houses.

They rejected the RM23,000 offer by DBKL as it can barely make up for the total amount of unpaid Employee Provident Fund and SOCSO contributions owed to them by a government contractor.

They also urged DBKL to withdraw its eviction order.

The residents have to date lodged 84 police reports against DBKL, DBKL mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Ishak, and its deputy M. Saravanan.