Send urgent protests to stop demolitions and evictions!
This morning (30 November) state government forces, including armed police and bulldozers, carried out another operation to demolish buildings in Kampung Berembang, a village near Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. They tried to destroy a Muslim prayer house and makeshift shelters that were built by people after an earlier state demolition on 20 November.
The 20 November assault saw 62 houses demolished and burned down by local authorities, under the instructions of the Selangor state government. The police force arrested and assaulted local people, as well as activists from the PSM (Socialist Party of Malaysia) and JERIT (Oppressed People’s Network). See article.
On 30 November, around 60 local people and activists, stood steadfast against a second demolition attempt, and were involved in a physical battle with enforcement officers from state government, who were backed by police force. Villagers, who and were outnumbered by police by more than 100, tried to block the demolition but were violently pushed aside by the enforcement officers. In the aftermath of the melee, 11 people – nine activists and two villagers – were arrested. As the dust settled, Kampung Berembang looked like a battle-zone, with villagers on the ground, some crying in pain, some unconsscious and some hurt, after getting hit by police. For further information and pictures go to www.parti-sosialis.org (opens in new window).
You help is urgently needed. Please send protest letters to the Malaysian Embassies and the Malaysian government against this brutal eviction by the Selangor state government. Please send urgent protest letters (by email, fax or by phone) to condemn this brutal act by the Selangor state government and its Chief Minister, Mohammad Khir Toyo.
We urge you to send protest letters, like the one below, to the Malaysian government:
To the Prime Minister of Malaysia/ Minister of Housing and Local Government/ Malaysian Ambassador
I/We condemn the brutal actions of the State Government of Selangor, under Chief Minister Mohamed Khir Toyo, which on 20 November and 30 November 2006, brutally demolished houses at Kampung Berembang, where 500 people lived for more than 30 years.
This inhuman act goes against fundamental human rights and the basic right to shelter. We also learned that the state government used the police force and local government enforcement officers to brutally arrest and assault local people and social activists who tried to defend the residents.
It is obvious this inhuman act undermines the fundamental rights of people, and was taken despite the Prime Minister’s department instructions to halt the planned demolition, given that a relevant legal case is at the courts. The representative of the Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), Dato Siva Subramaniam, who was in Kampung Berembang village, on 20 November, also instructed local government authorities to stop the demolition.
We are alarmed by this vicious attack, and by the inability of the government of Malaysia to stop the demolition. If the government instructed the state government to halt the demolition, the order was wilfully ignored.
This incident at Kampung Berembang clearly shows the Malaysian government’s lack of credibility when it claims to defend the rights of working and poor people. This undermines the democratic and human rights of workers and people, in general.
We strongly condemn this brutality, and urge the Malaysian government to:
- Investigate this abuse of power in Selangor state by the police force, the local authorities, the developer of Kampung Berembang, and the Chief Minister of Selangor. We call for an investigation over these brutal and inhuman actions in Kampung Brembang, which are against fundamental human and democratic rights
- Stop police the brutality against social activists and working people. Drop the police charges against social activists and residents of Kampung Berembang, who were merely acting to defend the fundamental right of all people to housing
- Compensate, in full, the cost of all the damage done by the state government to the people of Kampung Berembang by the brutal house demolitions
- Provide Kampung Berembang residents with proper housing and basic utilities, until decent houses are built. All disputes should be settled by proper negotiations, not by inhuman and uncivilised acts.
The Malaysian government promotes Malaysia as a democratic and harmonious country through the ‘Visit Malaysia 2007’ campaign, yet we witness these brutal actions in Kampung Berembang. We call on the Malaysian government to act fast, to end the demolishing attempts, and to condemn the actions of the Chief Minister of Selangor.
We will step up the campaign against these brutal actions if the Malaysian government fails to take action against the Selangor state government and for as long as the rights of Kampung Berembang residents are under attack.
Send protests to:
1) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Pejabat Perdana Menteri,
Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
Tel: 603-8888 8000.
Fax: 603-8888 3444
2) Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (Housing Minister)
Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan,
Pusat Bandar Damansara,
50782 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 603-2094 7033
Fax: 603-2094 9720