SITIAWAN: The Human Rights Party (HRP) has cast aspersions on the integrity of the Perak MIC and the Dindings Indian Association (DIA) over their continued silence over a land dispute.
HRP Perak pro-tem deputy chief N Subramaniam is of the opinion that both DIA and MIC are hiding from the public facts and documents pertaining to the dispute.
He said after the Dindings land issue arose, the DIA had split into two groups. "We know that one group is in touch with Perak MIC chairman S Veerasingam," said Subramaniam.
“As far I know Veerasingam has never spoken to the other group, which is the Committee Against the Acquisition of Dindings Indian Heritage Land (CAADIHL)."
Recapping the history of the disputed land, Subramaniam said that in 1939 the plantation workers around the Sitiawan township had chipped in to buy a 5.5 acres land.
The land has since become a ‘heritage site’ for the local Indian community. According to Subramaniam, the land was now worth several hundred million ringgit.
Problems surfaced in the late 90s when the chairman of the DIA, N Krishnan, consented to develop the land in collaboration with a private company called King Hong Developer.
The developer agreed to build 21 shops and a community hall on 2.5 acres of land.
Three of these shops were set aside for DIA. It is believed that the Chinese developer had handed over the balance three acres of land to a national school.
Subramaniam said the issue resurfaced seven years ago after several committee members began questioning Krishnan’s decision.
The matter came to a boil following the state government's interference. Realising the sensitivities involved, the government quickly backed out of discussions.
But the issue now, according to Subramaniam, is the land grant.
“The grant is missing. Many of the DIA members believe that Krishnan is holding the land grant but to this day he has failed to show us the document,” said Subramaniam.
Meanwhile, the community is also curious about Krishnan and his supporters’ seeming hold over Veerasingam.