Chua, Tan, jolt Pengerang folk with land grab expose
JOHOR, PENGERANG (Sept 23, 2012): Two experienced politicians, one a former minister and the other a deputy minister, jolted the Sungai Rengit town folk and got them all excited this morning.
The two were PKR (People’s Justice Party) vice-president and Johor chief Datuk Chua Jui Meng, a former Health Minister, and PKR Supreme Council member and Penyeleras (Coordinator) PKR Wangsa Maju (in the federal capital Kuala Lumpur) Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong, a former Deputy Land and Cooperative Development Minister.
The duo, both in their 60s, spent some eight hours in walkabouts covering districts and villages in Pengerang.
Armed with printed information materials, part of the entourage pose for a group photograph before their walkabout in Sungai Rengit. Standing centre (in white long sleeves shirt) is Chua and on his left is Tan.
Chua and Tan’s entourage of some 100 supporters, including a youth vanguard of motorcyclists, distributed some 2,000 flyers and PKR’s publications to the Pengerang folk.
Everywhere they went, the people extended their warm handshakes, including Felda settlers in Kota Tinggi.
Selamat pagi (Good Morning) and a warm handshake with a Malay couple
Hello! Chua (in dark cap) with PKR party workers clad in yellow and blue greeting the Sungai Rengit folk.
Chua and Tan (in yellow round neck shirt) greeting a man having his breakfast in a coffeeshop.
They kicked off their day-long schedule with a two-hour walkabout at 9am in Sungai Rengit, followed by a media conference in a coffee shop.
Chua told reporters: “We are here to alert Johoreans, particularly the Pengerang people, about how the Johor ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) is grabbing their land.
“The only way to stop them from exploiting the available laws to force sell your land is to change the government in the next general election.”
Chua said the Johor state government had approved a RM60 billion Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project without considering the potential health hazards of the people.
“The BN government also seized the opportunity to grab your land. Why do they need a ridiculously massive 22,500 acres for Rapid?
“In relocating those affected, the villagers or land owners were offered between RM1.80 and RM3.50 per sq foot (psf) for their land.
“According to property surveyors, the land is worth between RM12 and RM15 psf! If this is not a land grab fronted by the approval of Rapid, then what is it?”
Chua said Johoreans and the Pengerang folk must stop Rapid because it will wipe out at least 17 villages, uprooting thousands of people.
Chua (centre) telling a Chinese family why and how they must act to change the ruling BN coalition
In the walkabout, Chua said: “I also told the people to return PKR and Pakatan Rakyat coalition party candidates in the next general election as their lawmakers to ensure the future of their children and country.
“We will clamp down hard on corruption and the savings used to support people-centric policies like giving free education for children up to tertiary education.
“We will also help ease the people’s financial burden by reducing costs, like cheaper motor vehicles, petrol and toll-free expressways.”
After the media conference, the Chua-led entourage headed for Kampung Sungai Kapal PKR branch office for a short briefing on how the villagers are severely affected by Rapid.
The brand new SK Kapal school building, completed and occupied last year at a cost of RM3 million, is to be demolished for Rapid.
“Isn’t this a wanton waste of taxpayer’s money?” Chua asked.
SK Kapal school buildings, completed at a cost of RM3 mil and occupied last year, will also have to make way for Rapid
This was followed by visits to the more than century-old Kampung Jawa Pengerang and the 180-year-old Pekan Pengerang, where a fish landing jetty is located.
Both the village, town and human communities will be wiped out to make way for Rapid.
PKR Youth vanguard motorcyclists in Pekan Pengerang.
The PKR entourage then took an hour-long drive to the Adilah Felda settlement in Kota Tinggi where they stopped for lunch at about 2.30pm.
They also listened to the woes of two Felda settlers and briefed them on the issue and why they must not continue to allow themselves to be fooled by the BN federal government.
Tan, as a former Deputy Land and Cooperative Development Minister, is more than qualified to talk about Felda’s affairs.
Tan (in yellow) and Chua (with dark cap) briefing Felda settlers Md Amin, 67, (left) and Muhram Muhamed, 62, (right).
Chua and PKR party members and volunteers continue with their walkabouts in the Adilah Felda settlement under the 4pm sweltering sun.
They then resumed their walkabouts, distributing flyers, PKR publications and a report on Felda’s current status.
Surprisingly, Chua and his PKR party volunteers were well received in Felda, a perceived stronghold of Umno, with some motorists even stopping to ask for the information being distributed.
They ended their eight-hour-long walkabouts at 5pm, exhausted but feeling rewarded and satisfied with the response from the Pengerang folk.