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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ex-estate workers occupy PM's Office



Families of former estate workers at Ladang Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur have set up camp outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya, hoping to meet the prime minister on their demand for four acres of land at Ladang Bukit Jalil for their housing.

NONEAround 50 representatives from the families, as well as supporters, gathered outside the PMO at 11am but moved to a sheltered area about 50 metres away due to the rain.

The police present have not impeded the group, who plan to stay outside the PMO until they meet Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and their housing woes are resolved.

It is understood they will send five representatives, led by PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan and ex-estate workers representative K Balakrishnan, to meet with representatives from the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry and the PMO at 1pm.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Arutchelvan said that their request for the land had been turned down.

He said they felt cheated as they were there to meet Najib, and were under the impression that officers from the PMO would be at the meeting.

NONEHowever, only two representatives from the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry, Kasim Hamzah and Adi Roslan,  were present and they promised to pass on notes from the discussion to the PMO.

"We expected the highest level of professionalism," said Arutchelvan, expressing disappointment at the decision and the lack of representation by the PMO at the meeting.

If the request has been denied, then it should be given to them in writing, he said, adding that the workers and their families would continue to work to resolve the problem on their own.

Meanwhile, the protesters have resolved to stay put at a nearby gazebo outside the office, and may move directly outside the office if the weather continues to improve.
[More to follow]

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