Barbaric Act By Guthrie Leaves 34 Families Homeless!
27TH. Jun 2002, Bukit Jelutong Estate
This morning , the workers of Ladang Bukit Jelutong had a rude shock. First someone came house to house and passed them a notice to those who were around and pasted on homes where the occupants were not in. Then around 10.00 in the morning, the police, FRU, MPSA and demolition squad came in huge numbers with heavy machinery and brought down one house by one house.
The homes of workers who toiled the plantation for four generations were brought down without mercy. The barbaric act was carried out by Guthrie with the help of the State Government machinery and police.
It is true that Guthrie has obtained a default judgement but the judgement was not made known to the workers until the day of the demolition. It was a heartless act of violence against the people who made Guthrie rich today.
Appeal by the peoples's Lawyers fell on deaf ears as the police were not interested to stop the homes from being demolished. What is even more tragic was the notice dated 6th. June giving the people two weeks to comply was only served today and while the people were puzzled with the notice, the machinery came to bring their homes down.
Guthrie has once again proved that how barbaric they can be. There were several serious violation committed today. The notice was not served according to law and it is stated that if the people did not comply, then committal proceeding will be taken. Here there was no committal proceeding , only illegal act of terror.
Using their strong connection, they defied every law and acted violently and disgracefully in evicting the families. Today these people who toiled the plantation are no more important.
What was even worst, were most families were supposed to go to court the next day for their case. Never did they know, that one-day before their case that Guthrie will come in through the back door and bring down the homes.
PSM Secretary General and Central committee member visited the estate at around 12.30pm. By then, almost all the homes were gone. There seemed to be little resistance from the people and feeling of hopelessness was thick in the air. PSM comrades than advised the local NGOs from the Klang Consumer Group on how to go about handling the issue.
P.Kandasamy, the lawyer handling the case said that the action from Guthrie is illegal and said that he will file for an injunction against this inhumane action.
PSM members then advised the people to rebuild the homes from the ruins. Their homes may be gone but they should not surrender their land. For the workers of Bukit Jelutong, who have been for some years now writing letter to various bodies seeking intervention, should by now realise that it is only through fighting Guthrie physically can they win. Letters and appeals have no value to these barbarians. The battle needs to be worn in the ground and not through the letters.