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The last struggle for Pengerang people

September 14, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Teck Hwa Er, via e-mail

Himpunan Hijau Organising Committee and Pengerang NGO Alliance, together with some other NGOs will hold a 15,000 strong people’s rally in Pengerang on 30 Sept 30, 2012. The theme of the rally is ‘Green Assembly: Lestari Pengerang’.

I have said before that the real issue in Pengerang is basically different from the issue of factory lots in Kuantan, or also the issue of gold mining that uses cyanide in Bukit Koman.

Whether it is construction of factory lots in Kuantan, or gold mining factory operations by Raub-Australia Gold Maining Co, no residents’ land is to be acquired. The residents in those affected areas are able to continue protest activities until the factories concerned are closed down.

The Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemical Project is completely different. The land of the local residents will be taken back for this development project. While the residents are being forced to move out because land is taken away, the affected areas will be left empty. If the said areas are without tenants, how can the struggle be continued?

According to the latest plan, the government will take over more than 6,000 acres of land in two stages. The area that is being taken encompases land from Kampung Sebung to Kampung Sungai Buntu.

The first stage of taking back land started at early September 2012. The taking back of land will commence during the sixth week, after  the briefing on the taking back of land ends.

I wish to emphasise again that the big rally which will be held in Sungai Renggit on Sept 30, 2012, maybe a huge grand assembly which is the last in Pengerang area.

After the government has completed the taking back of land for the first and second stages, the houses and land from more than half of the members of Pengerang NGO Union, including the headquarter of Pengerang NGO union, which is situated in Sg Kapal , all will be completely taken away by the government.

After the committee members and residents in the affected areas are forced to migrate to other places, they will lose its office and most of its commitee members.

Although remaining members who are left behind can reorganise for further struggles, the situation they will face is they will confront a RAPID project area that is of 10 thousand acres, closely guarded by the security officers, and the place is full of bulldozers and tractors.

The final struggle

The struggle to save Pengerang village living area has been going on for half a year. The inconveniences and problems that have been experienced are beyond imagination.

The activities which are carried out by Pengerang NGO union in the villages in Pengerang, include giving information explaining the resulting effects arising from this project, collecting data and facts, and soliciting donations for activity.

Besides that, they have to stand against sabotage and spies from certain quarters. For outsiders, if a civil campaign fails, it can be reorganised and initialied again. On the contrary, for the Pengerang residents, they have only one chance.

The writer is MP for Bakri (Johor)


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