Monday, August 17, 2009

Perak politics sink to new low - Malaysiakini

By Humayun Kabir
Aug 17, 09 6:24pm

Two changes of government within a year in Perak hasn't just caused chaos - it has also resulted in the rival political camps attempting to claim credit for any progress made in the state administration.

Today, their spat centred on which coalition has done more in getting land titles for residents occupying government land in new and planned villages around Taiping.

DAP's Taiping parliamentarian Nga Kor Ming claimed that Barisan Nasional (BN) had hijacked the credit for applications for land titles in Baru Aulong Tambahan new village.

At a press conference outside the Taiping municipal hall, he said the residents from the low-income group had lived there for nearly 30 years without getting land titles from the BN state government.

Nga said he and party colleague Yew Tian Hoe - the Aulong assemblyperson - had worked hard over the past year in getting the 193 residents to submit their application forms to the state government..

Pakatan Rakyat had won control of the state after the general election last March, only to lose it to the BN 10 months later due to defections.

“Now they (BN) want to hijack our labour for their political mileage,” said an angry Nga who is also state party secretary.

He claimed that, about two weeks ago, someone from the land office started distributing 59 copies of Form 5 (for applications) to the villagers.

“He received a call on his mobile phone and immediately stopped distributing the forms to the remaining villagers,” claimed Nga.

“He told the villagers that he had received orders from the Larut Matang district land office to stop issuing the forms and return to the office.”

The angry villagers, together with Nga, later confronted District Officer Mahmud Morshidi at his office. The officer then promised to continue issuing of the forms on Aug 18.

However, the date was abruptly brought forward to today - and the honour of giving the land application forms went to the BN.

Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir was represented at the event by state executive councillor and Kamunting assemblyperson Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid, who handed out the forms to 188 villagers from Baru Aulong Tambahan (80 applicants), Air Kuning (31), Batu 14 Trong (26) and Kaki Bukit Jana (51).

Zahir's version of events

Nga further claimed that he was not given due respect as the Taiping MP at the event. He then walked out of the hall to hold the press conference outside.

“BN must not hoodwink the public by switching the date and causing confusion among the poor villagers who are daily wage earners and cannot take leave from work according to the whims and fancies of BN,” he said.

Nga claimed that 50 of the villagers who turned up today were not given the Form 5 applications but were turned away.

At another press conference, Zahir denied that anyone had been turned away.

“It's just that their applications have not yet been approved by the land office and they have to wait for their turn,” said Zahir.

“It was BN which started the ground work for the land titles before the general election and it is now continuing its policy of giving land titles to the landless and squatters. This is all a political game by Pakatan to gain credit for work done by BN.”

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