A cover-up job?
One of the projects on the steep hill-slopes of Tanjung Bunga Photos by a Tanjung Bunga resident
Just to recap, some one hundred residents of Tanjung Bunga protested at development projects on steep hill-slopes by banging pots and pans on Valentine’s Day. Many of the residents there are living in fear, especially during thunderstorms.
Before anyone else asks why these residents didn’t protest earlier, they did.
Says long-time Tanjung Bunga resident Dr Andrew Aeria:
Actually many of us did vote PR for change. And we have protested previously for umpteen times. Our first protest was in the early 1990s, when the hill was first sold by Mr Chan Siew Teong to some developer. The then Chee Seng residents held an open dialogue with Koh Tsu Koon and Chia Kwang Chye expressing our concerns about steep hill-slope development even then. We have written, complained and appealed to the previous government since then – but to no avail.
Many of the Tanjung Bunga protesters, like many other Malaysians elsewhere, wanted change and so they voted for Pakatan in the last general election. They dumped Koh Tsu Koon and company because they were fed up with them.
Like many other Malaysians, Tanjung Bunga residents realised on 8 March 2008 that they could make a difference if they stood up and be counted.
But their support for Pakatan was not unconditional. It wasn’t a blank cheque. Voters wanted change, many of them voted for change, and now they want to see real change. Pakatan now has the power, vested onto them by the rakyat, to make changes in the states they rule. Similarly, with the BN at the federal level.
Malaysians are now aware that ultimately, power to push through change lies in their hands; some of them feel they will be doing Pakatan a disservice if they were to uncritical of the coalition lest over time it morphs into a BN Lite.
Over in Selangor, state exco member Elizabeth Wong, now the victim of a malicious attempt to smear her reputation, has taken a firm stand against steep hill-slope development projects and environmental degradation. Her strong stand would have antagonised powerful interests in Selangor – but she acted in the interest of the people.
Likewise, the rest of Pakatan Rakyat must always act in the people’s interest to safeguard the environment and public safety.