Sunday, October 08, 2006

BMC Lantern protest : Samy Vellu! Buka Jalan!

I have attended a special lantern protest organised by the Bandar Mahklota Cheras Free Access Action Committee at the Mahkota Walk a few hours ago.

Some two to three hundred men and women, young and old, have participated in the lantern protest despite of the haze. The boys and girls were chanting," Samy Vellu, Buka Jalan!" throughout the procession. ( The small boy walking beside me was one of those who shouted "Buka Jalan" enthusiastically through the loudhailer.) We have put our unhappiness and worries aside for a while and I believe that all participants have had a good time.

In my briefing to the residents, I told them to continue the struggle until the access road is open.

I also told the residents that the action committee have met the representatives of LLM ( Malaysian Highway Authority), Grand Saga (Toll concessionaire) and Narajaya ( Developer,The Lion Group) seperately over the last two weeks.

We now have a clearer picture after reading various letters and documents, and the next course of action would be setting up a meeting between LLM, Grand Saga, Narajaya and the action committee. We may include the MPKj if necessary.

DAP Cheras MP YB Tan Kok Wai, the Chief Coordinator appointed by the committee, is now trying his best to fix a meeting. Such meeting is important and necessary because the different parties were now having different interpretations over the same clauses in the same approval letter.

We also informed the residents that we will demand for the removal of barricades first while negotiation betwen the various parties can proceed simultaneously. The traffic congestion has become very serious and unbearable for the residents of BMC and Bandar Sg Long. The residents here should not suffer any further just because the Government "fails to act as a government".

The earlier claims made by Works Minister S. Samy Vellu do not seem to hold water. The access is not illegal since the developer has obtained an approval prior to construction. And there were no clauses to state clearly that Grand Saga has the right to put up the barricades. Even the question of the so-called compensation is in a limbo.

Samy Vellu has promised the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang that he will find a solution during the last Parliamentary debate. We hope he would not drag his feet any longer.

The action committee should be commended for coming up with a VCD with the help of the DAP Sg Long Branch within a short time. It consists of parliamentary speeches and video clips of various protests and outings, including the protest outside the toll gate and the office of Grand Saga. It is priced at RM6 per copy and all proceeds will go back to the action committee. The VCDs could be obtained from members of the action committee and leaders of the DAP Sg Long Branch.

The committee may pay Samy Vellu a visit during his Deepavali open house if his department has yet to get a date firm up for the all-parties meeting. We may even pay the Prime Minister a visit if his minister fails to act within a reasonable time frame.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The residents of BMC and BSL want the access road NOW!


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