Tonight, I received news that she had passed away just after 8.00pm on the way to the hospital, after complaining of pain in her back and hand. She had not been feeling well for some time.
Widow Santhosa Mary @ Manimathu, 74, lived among the tenant-villagers at the St Francis Xavier’s Church along Penang Road. They had been given a 31 May deadline to sign an agreement to vacate their homes. The Church, through its lawyers, wanted the villagers to accept RM10,000 in compensation and leave by 31 May 2010. If they failed to accept these terms, they had to leave by yesterday, Pentecost Sunday.
As the deadline to accept the terms approached, Manimathu grew anxious, according to one of the villagers.
“What will happen to us after that?” she was heard telling several villagers. “Which house can I go to?”
In the midst of this controversy between the church and the villagers, it looks as if God has now intervened.
Manimathu was the wife of the late Mr Selva, a foreman at the now defunct Straits Echo. She had lived in the village since 1949.
See also: ‘Penang Church not selling land to hotel’ in The Star today.