Monday, April 21, 2008

Kenyataan Media / Press Statement: MP Wangsa Maju

21 April 2008

Media release re Jalan Petaling as reported in The Star
Media Release of Wee Choo Keong, MP for Wangsa Maju, on 21 April 2008 in Kuala Lumpur
The Star report in page M4 today:
On page M4 of The Star headline of today reads: Association tells Wee not to interfere – City Hall and MP handling the problem. This headline is a definite SLANT to protect the BN controlled DBKL, Ministry of Wilayah Persekutuan and the illegal immigrants. Whoever tries to protect illegal immigrant is doing a disservice to the nation.
Background to this media statement
For the background: on 19-04-08 I have issued a press statement in respond to the Deputy Minister of Wilayah YB Datuk Saravanan’s attack on my stand on illegal immigrants in the Wilayah Persekutuan Round Table Conference and my statement was not published in The Star for obvious reason. But the Deputy Minister's statement to the effect that DBKL cannot take harsh actions against illegal immigrants because Jalan Petaling is a tourist destination was published in the same newspaper.
Of course, I protested to the Star because I was denied the right to a reply. I feel that it is the basic rule in professional journalism that one should always be allowed to reply. I am really pleased that today a small part of my statement was, of course, published in the Star.
The Star said report headlined: “Association Tells Wee Not To Interfere” shows that it has no in-depth knowledge of this association called: KL Hawkers and Petty Traders Association (hereinafter referred to as the “Association”) and the problems of illegal immigrants in Jalan Petaling and throughout Malaysia.
For a start, the said Association has been headed by its president one Mr Chan Kai Mun, who was in the early 1990s banished to Cameron Highland by the Home Ministry as a restricted residence (kena buang negeri) due to his criminal activities in Jalan Petaling and KL. But he returned to KL just after 3 months in Cameron Highland which was and still is a holiday resort, and his short 'resrticted residence' period was extremely unusual.
Beautification Project in Jalan Petaling
Prior to the Beautification of Jalan Petaling Project around 2001/2002, this Chan Kai Mun has put up his own electricity meters around Jalan Petaling and he was collecting electricity charges from the hawkers averaging RM300 to RM500 per month per hawker (RM0.70 per bulb and RM1.50 per florescent tube) per session (from 12:00 noon to 5 pm for the afternoon session and 5 pm to 11 pm for the night session) for more than 20 years.
In fact during the DBKL beautification project, the Association president was openly allowed by DBKL to lay his personal underground cables to each hawker stall for the supply of electricity. The Association president was allowed to collect the electricity charges even after the beautification project was completed. The Association president was indeed a very powerful figure in DBKL. I wonder WHY? DBKL should explain why no actions were taken for so many years to stop this activity of the Association president?
There are more than 800 licenced hawkers and a few hundred unlicenced ones. The collections per month by the said Association president was more than RM100,000.00!
The hawkers were extremely unhappy as they felt that the charges were highly excessive and they were licenced hawkers and such services should have been provided by DBKL. The hawkers knew that the collections of electricity charges were unlawful. But the hawkers dare not openly protest because of the Association president’s known notorious background (which is an open secret). They sort my help even though I was no longer the MP for Bukit Bintang.
Since I was active in Bukit Bintang under Malaysian Democratic Party (MDP), I had no alternative but to fight for the hawkers. I have had many meetings with DBKL over the collections of the electricity charges by the said Association president and DBKL agreed in principle that no one has the right to collect electricity charges from the hawkers.
Unfortunately, DBKL did not take any action to stop this activity until 2003 when DBKL heard that I intend to file an action in Court to apply for an order to force DBKL to take actions to stop these unlawful activities. DBKL finally issued a notice to all the hawkers notifying them that no one is authorised to collect the electricity charges in Jalan Petaling. Hence these unlawful activities were stopped. Now the hawkers paid a flat rate of about RM200.00 throughout the day with no restriction on the usage of electricity. They were extremely happy.
The Association was used as a platform
The Association is not really the Association of the hawkers in Jalan Petaling. The Association is dominated by its president Chan Kai Mun and his boys like DATUK ANG SAY TEE. The hawkers generally feel threatened by personality of Chan Kai Mun. It is a general knowledge that the said Association does not represent the hawkers in Jalan Petaling. The said Association has been used as a platform and a front for Chan Kai Mun, who was a restricted resident, and other businessmen.
I call upon the police to check whether Chan Kai Mun is still involved in the illegal activities in Jalan Petaling and elsewhere.
The Association’s deputy president Datuk Ang Say Tee
DATUK Ang Say Tee (hereinafter referred to as DATUK ANG) was never a hawker in Jalan Petaling. He was never a hawker but a well to do businessman. It is extremely unusual for a hawker to be conferred the title of Datuk. I think that DATUK ANG is the only official in a hawkers association throughout the country that is conferred Datukship and I believe that like many other Datuks, he must have contributed a lot to the state that conferred him the Datukship!
DATUK ANG - MCA Background
DATUK ANG was and still is a businessman in the garment business in Jalan Kenaga area. DATUK ANG is a member of MCA. DATUK ANG was the vice-chairman of MCA Ampang Division and now a committee member only.
So it is now understandable why DATUK ANG made such a statement asking me not to interfere even though he knew that Jalan Petaling is dominated by illegal immigrants. DATUK ANG was just carrying out the policy of BN to protect the illegal immigrants. It is also understandable that The Star had to perform its duties accordingly and slanted its reporting the way it did. But facts are facts. Nothing can change facts.
DBKL duty to KL residents and the community
The KL residents have spoken on 8th March. It is now an undisputed fact that the illegal immigrants are a problem in Jalan Petaling and the whole of Malaysia, and they caused untold miseries to Malaysians generally.
Our national interests dictate that our securities are the most important aspect of the nation and also jobs and business opportunities must be reserved for Malaysians.
Further, DBKL and the government must take note that generally ILLEGAL immigrants in any part of the world caused social problems to the nation and they are not welcomed.
For our national interests, I call upon DBKL, Immigration Department and the police to immediately engage in a joint action to weed out illegal immigrants in KL and other parts in Malaysia starting in Jalan Petaling.
Wee Choo Keong

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