Penang losing its ‘charm’ and ‘character’
2 days ago
|Senator S. Ramakrishnan,
Last Saturday a group of concerned individuals called reflex organized a hunger strike to pressure MIC to return the land allocated for Effingham Tamil School. This hunger strike has attracted public attention towards land stolen by MIC and created awareness of the plunders of other lands allocated to Tamil Schools but quietly alienated to MIC leaders.
Today is the third day of this severe hunger strike without any kind of food and water. Seven persons started hunger strike but 2 gave up after 1 day and 5 persons continued to the third day(28/5/2012). The health of hunger strikers must be monitored closely now onwards. We want these activist to live and the battle another day and not die of hunger strike.
makkal osaiThe housing developer who converted the former Effingham estate to housing project gave 6 acres of Tamil school land to Selangor state government. Since Pakatan Rakyat is the state government, REFLEX was able to obtain a copy of the letter dated 30th june 1999 where MIC applied to previous BN government asking for half of lot 28814 which was broken up into 2 lots. One was given to school and the other was issued to Dato Seri Samy Vellu holding as trustee for MIC.
In 2007 one member of the PIBG made a MACC report alleging the 3 acres immoral and unethical land scam by MIC. After the mass media reporting on this land grab, the land legal owner Samy Vellu transferred it to MIC.
Since then the public and PIBG have been campaigning for the return of the 3 acres land to the school. The school can have better sports facilities and extra classes with land returned. There is a government policy that if a primary school has more than 420 students, they are entitled to 5.4 acres of land.
Dato G Palanivel and Dato M saravanan has responded by saying that as far as MIC is concerned the land has been given to them. They will not return it to the school. MIC has also siphoned off pieces of lands given to other Tamil Schools. In 2006 Bukit Raja Tamil School was given 5.4 acres of land. The then Selangor state exco Dato S.Sivalingam allotted 3 acres to School and 2.4 acres to private parties.
Through the intervention of Dr Xavier Jayakumar, the current Pakatan Rakyat Exco the 2.4 acres of land was retrieved and given back to school. Similarly in Razak Tamil School Shah Alam out of 4 acres given to Tamil schools, only 2 acres given to school, in 1 acres there is petrol pump on it and another 1 acre no trace of what happened to it. In Selangor we can trace back the land allotted to Tamil schools. But how many of Tamil school land grabbed by MIC in other states, we don’t know?
Since the start of hunger strike 3 days ago MIC president did not issue any statement. Why the silence Dato G. Palani? Do not hide behind UMNO and be indifferent. Indian community is watching you and MIC leaders? PKR president Datin seri wan Azizah has said that should PR go to Putrajaya, they will ensure the return of this piece of land to the school. But BN leaders have not issued any statement.
|Five on hunger strike over school land
Aneesa Alphonsus | May 27, 2012
They want MIC to return three acres of land originally given to SRJK (T) Effingham.
KUALA LUMPUR: Five members of Return Effingham Land Action Team (Reflax) are staging a hunger strike to seek the return of three acres of land belonging to the Effingham Tamil School (SRJK (T) Effingham) in Bandar Utama here.
The hunger strike commenced with seven participants at 8.20am yesterday at the water fountain in Brickfield’s Little India.
Two hunger strike protesters dropped out at 6.30pm on Saturday and 12.30am on Sunday citing personal reasons.
Reflax which has been holding candlelight vigils every Saturday night for the past 14 weeks said that the three out of six acres have been grabbed by the MIC, a component party in the Barisan National.
PKR’s MP for Subang R Sivarasa said that MIC had initially planned to build their headquarters on the three acres, but as of May 3 this year claimed that it will now house a hostel for urban students from the estates.
“All the other schools (allocated the land in the area) have kept their six acres – no one has tried to take it from them. But here, with the Tamil school, MIC is trying to grab the three acres for personal use,” said Sivarasa.
Reflax chairman Manivanan Gowin added that after procuring the services of a land surveyor, they have since found out that the three acres is valued at an estimated RM52 million.
“This is perhaps the main reason why MIC is being so stubborn about not letting go of the three acres. I hope that they will take this hunger strike seriously and return the three acres on humanitarian grounds.
“This is a peaceful protest and if MIC fails to return the land in light of this hunger strike, then I don’t think they understand the Hindu concept of what it means and stands for,” said Manivaran.
This hunger strike is seen as the last resort to urge the return of the three acres land for the future expansion of the school.
“When G Palanivel became MIC president in 2009, he kept mum about this issue which has been in existence since 2007. And now suddenly, there are plans for a hostel,” added Manivaran.
“Here, we have five people who have volunteered their time, and lives for this cause. They are roughing it out with the hope that it will bring about the desired outcome.
“They are determined to continue with this hardcore hunger strike without even drink, until the desired outcome is achieved,” he said.
Dr Streram Sinnasamy who examined the 5 protesters today said they are doing well without any signs of fatigue after over 30 hours without food or drink.
“The average person can go without water or food for about three days. After that, they will start to show signs of fatique, lethargy and dizziness. We had checked them before the hunger strike commenced and will perform daily checks to monitor their health,” he said.
|MIC, PKR to work together to solve Effingham land issue
Teoh El Sen | May 28, 2012
Hunger strikers agree to drop the term "thief" to describe MIC while the party in turn would consider a proposal for the land to be given to the Effingham Tamil School.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Effingham Tamil School (SRJK(T) Effingham) land controversy finally looks set to be resolved following a compromise reached out between MIC and the PKR-backed Return Effingham Land Action Team (Reflax).
The initiative was taken by MIC vice-president and Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Deputy Minister M Saravanan who visited five members of Reflax who had been in a hunger strike since Saturday morning seeking for the return of a three acre land for the school which they claimed had been taken by MIC.
However after Saravanan’s visit to the hunger stikers, followed by a short discussion involving PKR’s R Sivarasa as well as MIC secretary-general S Murugessan, both Reflax and PKR agreed to stop calling MIC “thieves” who “stole” the said piece of land.
The hunger strikers also agreed to replace their demand for MIC to “return the land” with a new one which will “seek for the land” for the school.
In return, Saravanan agreed that he would bring up the group’s proposal to MIC’s highest leadership level, the central working committee, to consider the request for the land to be allocated for the school.
However, Reflax, which has been holding candlelight vigils every Saturday night for the past 14 weeks, would continue to hold it’s hunger strike, which is now on it’s third day.
Currently there are five people, out of an original seven, who are taking part in the hunger strike at the water fountain in Brickfield’s Little India.
They said that they would continue with their hunger strike until MIC confirms that it would release the piece of land. Reflax and PKR had originally accused the MIC of stealing the land which was given for the school.
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