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Friday, May 30, 2014

Indian voters 'offered' land application forms


TELUK INTAN A BN-friendly party has been accused of handing out application forms for land to Indian voters in its drive to win Indian support for BN in tomorrow's Teluk Intan by-election.

The forms are said to have been handed out by Indian Progressive Front's (IPF) campaigners during their door-to-door visits.

Malaysiakini sighted the forms after being alerted to the matter by the DAP.

The blank form requires those interested to apply for a membership in IPF, and states that this will also serve as an automatic application for a piece of agricultural land under an 'Agriculture Planning' programme.

The application needs to be approved by the "IPF division chief" and then by the "IPF head office".

However, Malaysiakini has so far not been able to contact IPF to verify this claim, or the authenticity of the documents.

Many Indians in this constituency are from former estate settlements, and most of them have now settled in housing areas.

'Offer seen as joke'

Land remains a major attraction for Indians in this constituency as among the lesser-educated people, agriculture remains their best skill.

DAP's Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan (right), who was a Perak executive councillor for housing and local government between 2008 and 2009, told Malaysiakini yesterday that to his knowledge, there is either very little or no land in Teluk Intan to be given away for agriculture.

A large portion of land in the constituency is owned by private plantations, including Sime Darby Plantations and United Plantations.

United Plantattions also owns and manages the sprawling Ulu Bernam Estate.

However, the number of Indians in the estates have greatly reduced over the years, with only a handful remaining.

DAP's Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar, who is handling the by-election campaign in Indian areas, said the fact that the people were reporting such offers proved that they no longer believe in BN’s campaign promises.

"If they believe (the offers), they wouldn't tell us about the things they have been promised," Sivakumar told Malaysiakini yesterday.

"The fact that they are revealing this shows that they are just laughing at this," he added.

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