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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

14 shops demolished, PSM rues 'Harapan's cruelty' against the poor


PSM has rued the "cruelty" of the Pakatan Harapan Selangor state government after 14 shop lots owned by low-income traders at Kampung Manickam Bangi Lama were demolished yesterday.

The party's deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan said in a statement last night that the shop lots had been operating for 40 years and included a mechanic, an eatery, a florist, and a tailor among others.

"The way Harapan politicians handled this issue is very disappointing, cruel and arrogant. The menteri besar is from PKR, the assemblyperson from Amanah and the MP from DAP.

"If this is how Harapan treats the ordinary people in a town with limited economic activity, I pity Malaysians," he said.

Arutchelvan said he did not want to blame the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and the local Land Office for the demolition, saying they were only policy implementers.

When contacted, Sungai Ramal assemblyperson Mazwan Johar said he had tried his best to delay the demolition with letters to the District Office and MPKj which were copied to Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and local council exco member Ng Sze Han.

He said the road where the shops were located had become a high traffic location with the rise of new housing areas nearby. There was also the construction of a new community centre nearby.

Thus, he said, the area the shops were at could either be used to expand the road to ease traffic congestion or to create a parking lot for the community hall.

"So there is a need for the state government to retake the land, but there is no urgency for them to do it.

"There is a pandemic and the traders need to earn a living [...] so they need to be relocated first before their shops are demolished," Mazwan told Malaysiakini.

He said he has urged MPKj to urgently relocate the traders to the local market area which he said was just 50 meters away from the demolished site.

"It is a wide space with only eight lots operating at the moment [...] and since the market is owned by MPKj, they can expedite the process," he said.

Likewise, Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming told Malaysiakini briefly that he was working with Mazwan to find alternative short term arrangements pending the transfer of the traders to their new site. - Mkini

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