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Estate folk submit list of grouses

 | July 14, 2011

Nigel Gardner's residents have submitted their list of grievances, and MIC's S Vell Paari promises them that action will be taken.

HULU SELANGOR: The residents of Nigel Gardner estate here have compiled their grievances and the list will be handed to MIC central working committee member S Vell Paari tomorrow.

Based on the nine-page handwritten document, the residents’ main grouse was being let down by both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat with regard to realising their dream of owning a house.

“Since 1999 we have requested the government for houses. But the answer is zero,” said one resident when contacted.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the resident said that during the Hulu Selangor by-election last year, BN and Pakatan leaders made numerous promises, which were never kept.

Apart from this, the workers also wanted a salary increment, saying their current wages fell below RM1,000.

“How do you expect a family to survive on RM,1000?” asked the resident, adding that there were also those working as clearners in the estate’s schools, who earn about RM500 a month.

Some of the workers also requested for better-paying government jobs, computers for their children as well as transport, welfare and medical aid.

There were also several families who indicated their willingness to take up Vell Paari’s offer to resettle elsewhere.

The majority of workers also expressed disatisfaction with the management, whom they claimed was treating the workers like slaves.

In end May, Vell Paari had met a group of the residents to hear their grouses.

Living conditions

Appalled by their living conditions and poor wages, he had suggested that the residents be relocated to another place, and be given skills training and employment.

However, Berjaya Group, which owns the estate, denied the allegations of ill-treatment and promised to look into its workers’ complaints.

Contacted later, Vell Paari said he would furnish a copy of the residents’ grouses to Hulu Selangor MP P Kamalanathan, MIC president G Palanivel and the Prime Minister’s Department.

According to him, Palanivel had agreed to raise the matter with Berjaya Group owner, Vincent Tan.

“I would also like to have another meeting with all the residents soon and hope Berjaya will allow me to do so. I have spoken to Kamalanathan, and he will communicate with the Berjaya management to arrange for the meeting with the residents hopefully by next week, ” he said, adding that he would give the respective parties a time frame to act on the workers’ complaints.

“If nothing changes by then, I’ll be forced to look at other options,” he said, promising that something would be done to improve the living conditions of the workers.

Previously, Vell Paari had also invited Pakatan leaders to join hands with him to resolve this issue.

As for those willing to relocate, the MIC CWC member said he would meet them and discuss the next course of action.


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