The besieged residents of Batu Estate will be gathering in front of DBKL tomorrow (1st March 2011) at 10.30 am. They will be going on a hunger strike.
This is to protest the planned demolition of their homes by DBKL. Using, of all things, an Emergency Ordinance.
We are surprised to hear about this Emergency. Going about our duties in Kuala Lumpur today, we found the city, and Malaysia, to be in its usual state of UnEmergency. Or lacking any sense of urgency, if you prefer.
But we have, after some research, found that Malaysia labours under several states of Emergency. Which no succesive governments have bothered to repeal. Having, of course, no sense of urgency. Or perhaps, finding it convenient to have such repressive pieces of legislation lying around, just in case they need it.
And thus allowing DBKL to abuse an Emergency Ordinance not at all meant for this purpose. Cynically circumventing a court order in order to achieve their aims. Or, more likely, the aims of the developer, Mayland Developers Sdn Bhd. Who having offered a pittance to the residents and been rejected, now attempt to flex ugly political muscle. They would like to have their cake, and eat it. And all on the cheap.
This atrocity of a demolition cannot be allowed to proceed. And an investigation must be carried out on how it came about. We must be told who requested it, why it was approved and which crass official or officials approved and ordered it.
DBKL can no longer be allowed to hide and operate in unaccountable untransparency.