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Kg Medan: Malaysia's Kampung Unrest- Why?
By CL Tan
14/3/2001 5:24 pm Wed
[Kejadian Kg Medan adalah kesan daripada masalah sosio ekonomi
akibat kemiskinan dan terbiar. Ada 6 kampung setinggan besar di sini.
Ia turut menjadi tempat gangster beroperasi tetapi polis kurang
mengambil perduli tetapi mereka begitu cepat pula bertindak jika
ada perhimpunan reformasi.
MALAYSIA'S KAMPUNG UNREST - Why?
BY C L TAN
Mar 12, 2001
- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, on Saturday]
Partly because of the gangs that operate here.
Partly because of its history of bad temper over territory. (The area is
made up of six major squatter settlements: Kampung Datuk Hormat, Kampung
Lindungan, Kampung Medan, Kampung Ghandi, Kampung Datuk Harun and Kampung
And partly, because of the underlying poverty.
It is a totally different world from urban Petaling Jaya with its run-down
houses and garbage-strewn streets.
The main tarred road that leads into the settlements is narrow and dusty. It
has no streetlights.
In the past year or so, there have been clashes between Malay gangs and
Indian groups. Three months ago, a 20-year-old youth had his arm severed by
a gang in a territorial clash.
The last straw came last Sunday. A fight broke out between friends and
relatives of two neighbours - one was celebrating a wedding, the other was
holding a funeral.
The quarrel broke out over the erection of a tent for the wedding outside a
A man on his way to attend a relative's funeral was unhappy when he found
the road partially blocked. An argument broke out between the two sides when
the man started to pull down the tent.
But it did not end there.
Instead, the angry man returned with several friends, armed with parangs,
and attacked the family holding the wedding.
The bridegroom's father was slashed in the hands while one of his relatives
had his right arm nearly severed. By the middle of last week, tensions had
escalated in the settlements. On Thursday evening, a clash broke out in Taman Desa Ria flats in Kampung
Lindungan after a neighbour tried to stop a quarrel between two groups over
a slingshot missile that broke a car's windscreen.
On Thursday evening, a clash broke out in Taman Desa Ria flats in Kampung Lindungan after a neighbour tried to stop a quarrel between two groups over a slingshot missile that broke a car's windscreen.
When the peacemaker was beaten up, other residents got involved.
By midnight, fights between the different communities worsened and police
were called in.
By midnight, fights between the different communities worsened and police were called in.
Why ghetto is a tinder box
THE violence in this area is a social problem that has been long overlooked,
said some observers.
It is a small rundown area, passing between medium-cost housing estates in
Jalan Klang Lama and up-market residential enclave, Bandar Sunway, in Petaling Jaya.
Street-wise kids play on the road and vehicles can be found parked
Those riding motorcycles in this area are normally without crash helmets.
Few pay any heed to rules and regulations, including signboards put up to
remind them to keep the area clean.
In many ways, these settlements resemble a ghetto. Thousands live here in
Some manage to flee to the low- and medium-cost housing projects within the
area. Those who can't escape have learnt to put up with the frequent gang
fights related to drugs and secret societies.
The authorities have not been able to curb these illegal activities. In the
past three years, the police have handled more than 40 violent cases
involving the squatters and those living in the vicinity.
The authorities have not been able to curb these illegal activities. In the past three years, the police have handled more than 40 violent cases involving the squatters and those living in the vicinity.
Said a senior Selangor police officer who looks after the area: "We can't do
much. We arrest the culprits, but they will get out on bail and start their
"We tried hard enough to move the squatters from here, but failed. The
police know this is a problematic area. But they simply cannot put a brake
to stop the growing number of crimes..."
Taman Medan State Assemblyman Puan Norkhaila Jamaluddin said the lack of development had a lot to do with the status the area had earned: "I know they are very frustrated. But the government is working to re-locate the squatters so the area would no longer be packed."
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