Woman fumes as authorities bulldoze land without warning

A woman is left fuming over the losses that she has been inflicted with after workers from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) bulldozed and levelled around 50 banana trees that belonged to her in Seberang Jaya recently.

The incident, which took place two days prior to Deepavali in November 3, had cost Kamala Devi around RM 120,000 in damages and also severely threatened the livelihood of her family, who belong to the lower-income category.

“I have a son who will be sitting for SPM, and a daughter who will be sitting for UPSR, how am I supposed to pay their school fees?” she asked while showing the barren, bulldozed land to Komunitikini recently.

Even though the land belongs to DID, Kamala has worked on the land for the past 12 years and has made it productive.

However, she was left seething in dismay after the department workers bulldozed the land without giving as much as a warning to her.

She also claims that she was threatened by the police officers when she brought the case forward to them, and she had already complained to Deputy Chief Minister of Penang Ramasamy Palanisamy regarding the matter before, to no avail.

“The police threatened that they would stash drugs in the land if she refuses to move,” said Human Rights Party (HRP) representative N. Ganesan, who was also present at the scene.

Ganesan was referring to police officers from the Seberang Tengah police station, which located right opposite the bulldozed farm.

“According to news reports in the Utusan on 5th and Star on 6th, the DID local director claimed that he never issued any order to demolish this land,” Ganesan pin-pointed.

The HRP are now demanding that Kamala be given a full compensation for her damages, and is allowed to resume her farm-work at the land.

Ganesan also urged that the police be questioned regarding their involvement in this case.