Johor Indians conned by MB and MIC again

– Senator S. Ramakrishnan. 

Johor Menteri Abdul Ghani Othman, where is your Tenang by-election promise to Kg Veera residents?

The Gemas-Johor Baru double track railway project will force many Indian settlers along the railway tracks in Johor homeless. These Indian families are from the low income group and had settled on this land 40 to 50 years before it was even gazetted for railway tracks.

The Transport Ministry is making the all arrangements to start the project without any intention to resettle the thousands of families living on the land earmarked for the double track railway project in Johor. I call upon the transport minister to reconsider the issue of the settlers’ eviction and come out with a resettlement plan before starting the double tracking project.

These settlers were promised compensation and alternative land during election periods but to date this promises by the BN government remain empty.

During the Tenang by-election, Asokan, the MIC state assemblyperson, showed 22 settlers from Kg Veera, Tenang a muddy low-lying piece of land where the residents were to be resettled. Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani too told the residents that they would be given an alternate piece of land to resettle in.

Similar promises have also been made during previous elections. But to date nothing has come out of these promises by MIC politicians and the Johor menteri besar. Their empty promises show that the BN government is only interested in tricking the Indian voters to vote for them in elections. Once the votes are secured these BN politicians conveniently forget the Indian community.

The Pakatan Rakyat coalition while ruling the Perak state and the present Penang state government had helped to compensate the railway double track land settlers. Three hundred squatters from Kuala Sepatang, Perak were allocated alternative land to resettle by KTM Berhad and the Railway Asset Management Corporation during the Bukit Gantang by election.

RM42,000 was given as compensation to 32 settlers in Seberang Perai when they had been evicted for the double track railway project. If the Pakatan Rakyat government can ensure that the affected settlers in Kuala Sepatang and Seberang Perai can be compensated, why can’t the BN federal government and BN state governments compensate these Kg Veera settlers and many others in Johor?

The BN government of Negri Sembilan has compensated Malay reserve land owners whose land was acquired for railway double track purposes. Since there is a precedence of compensation for double track settlers, why is the Johor MB and MIC’s Asokan keeping quiet on Kg Veera and other railway double track settlers’ claims?

Why are the MIC leaders and the Johor MB who made these promises keeping quiet?

Does it mean that BN only wants Indian votes and couldn’t be bothered when they have gotten what they want?

Malaysian Indians in Johor are neglected and ignored by the BN government. Yet MIC bends backward to secure Indian votes for this ungrateful BN government. MIC is a party with no dignity and pride.

MIC helped the BN government turn the Malaysian Indian community into a marginalised and homeless community. Malaysian Indians must realise their predicament and act decisively. They must not allow themselves to be cheated by empty promises, dinners, entertainment shows and provision hampers.

Malaysian Indians must stand up and be counted as equal citizens.