Tumbuk Estate: How long more to wait
Indrani Kopal | May 4, 2010
The long-promised housing scheme for ex-workers of Tumbuk estate is now still nowhere in sight.
The former workers who are currently residing at the estate quarters are demanding for the housing scheme promised to them by their former employer, MAIKA Holding Bhd.
In 2006, MAIKA promised to undertake and complete a housing scheme that was supposed to have commenced construction in April 2008 but till today this has not happened.
In the deal that transpired between the workers, MAIKA Holding and the plantation union NUPW was that, when the workers were terminated on 31 Mar 2006, they will be given their termination benefits and ex-gratia payment in accordance with the labour law.
And it was also agreed then that the promised workers' ex-gratia payment will be utilized to settle the down payment for the purchase of property under the workers housing scheme.
Dreams were built on the promises made.
Four years down the road, concerns are raised when nothing when nothing has been implemented, although many meetings were held and housing plans were shown.
Two of the workers shared with Malaysiakini their grievances.
"In 2006, MAIKA made all sorts of promises to build proper housing for the plantation workers. Today, these promises have yet to be fulfilled," lamented Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) councillor G Vannirselvan during the interview.
He said that four years has passed yet nothing concrete has been achieved to resolve the matter.
MAIKA's lawyer reported in Tamil Nesan on April 15th, 2010, just 12 days prior to Hulu Selangor by-election that if only the Selangor state goverment had acted sooner, the delay in the Tumbuk estate housing problem could have been avoided.
MAIKA Holdings chief executive officer S Vell Paari also pointed that Selangor State Exco Dr A Xavier Jayakumar's intervention in the issue should have speeded up the title clearance process that has been pending at the district office.
However in December 2008, MAIKA Holdings Berhad was informed by the Kuala Langat district office to determine the rightful ownwership of the property and to respond within a month of the notice, failing the district office would treat the matter as closed.
MAIKA apparently did not respond to that request.
While all fingers pointing at Dr Xavier and Selangor State goverment for delaying the approval of the land title, Malaysiakini managed to get his interview to clarify the matter in the midst of the busy Hulu Selangor by-election.
Camera: Maran Perianen
Photos: Arvind Raj
Voice over: Oliver Kumareyan Shanmukam