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Monday, December 30, 2013

Waytha slams DBKL as ‘ignorant’

He says the rights of Kg Railway residents were ignored to protect business interests
PETALING JAYA: Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy has denounced Thursday’s demolition of Kampung Railway, calling it an “unconscionable act” on the part of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
In a media statement released yesterday, Waythamoorthy said DBKL had shown that it was ignorant of history, particularly the role played by Indian immigrants in the development of Malayan Railway.
He accused DBKL of ignoring the “legitimate rights” of the villagers to protect the business interests of YTL Corporation and other companies.
Waythamoorthy, who is the deputy minister in charge of Indian affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department, lamented that government agencies were “continuously ignorant of the plight of the displaced Indian community”.
“They fail to understand that the Indian settlements are frequently deemed illegal due to historical wrongs,” he said. “The British Government failed to grant land titles to the forefathers of the current community that occupy the land.
“Merdeka meant nothing to these people as they continued to be a landless community and the Federal Government in 1957 should have found solutions for them.
“Kampung Railway for one should be protected as a heritage village.”
The demolition of Kampung Railway came after 30 families who were resident there lost a legal suit against YTL, which had acquired the land to develop it into a housing estate.
“The people may not have rights in the eyes of the law, but they have equitable rights that never found their way into Malaysian laws,” said Waythamoorthy.
He urged “the relevant ministers” to be “people-centric” and open up discussions so that they would have a better understanding of the Indian community’s plight.
He added: “The government should read the sentiments of the Indian community not in terms of voting power only, but instead appreciate the many contributions of our forefathers to this country.”

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