The court has issued an eviction order to the Plantation Tamils who reside in Tumbuk Estate near Tg. Sepat, Sepang. The land had previously belonged to Maika Holdings, an investment company that was started by MIC in 1983. Without being informed about alternative housing, the masses of poor Tamil families were evicted on a rainy day and forced to live in tents. Maika Holdings had acquired over 66,000 shareholders, who predominantly came from the working-class Plantation Tamils; at one point, the company was one of the wealthiest in the nation. It was meant to act as an instrument to alleviate the Plantation Tamil community from poverty, but the company did not heed the economic changes that the incredibly marginalised and vulnerable Plantation Tamil community thought it would. Many had believed that they would be able to own homes on the plantation lands that they had toiled on, but that dream was stolen from them, and now the people of Tumbuk Estate have lost the right to live in their own homes. The Plantation Tamils of Tumbuk Estate have appealed their case to the Selangor Government, stating that they want alternative housing as a solution for their landlessness. Many heartbroken and exhausted residents shared their grief and sorrows over the eviction.
We have lived here all our lives. My husband had worked on this estate, and it was after my marriage to him that I started to live and work here too. Now they are suddenly telling us to evict our homes. My husband is 83 and I am 74, and they’re forcing us out of our homes. They barged into our homes and started throwing our things outside. They broke everything and started to wreck havoc. The government should know of our plight and help us. We want our homes.
– Letchumy Munusamy, Resident of Tumbuk Estate
The eviction has left many people stranded on the streets, including the elderly and children. K. Panneer, Member of the Municipal Corporation, stated that the eviction issue has been informed to the First Minister of Selangor, Amirudin Shari. The government has temporarily arranged housing for the evicted Tamils by stating that it will compensate 3 months of rent for the affected masses. K. Panneer also stated that he will arrange a more permanent housing settlement for the estate workers through the Selangor housing scheme.
The residents of Tumbuk Estate are one of the many Tamil working communities that have been made landless. A more detailed account of the history of the housing struggle in Tumbuk Estate can be understood through the brief documentary by Indrani Kopal for Malaysiakini. For the masses of Plantation Tamils, the struggle for housing in post-colonial Malaysia has been restlessly ongoing for decades with more stories of defeat than success.
Source: Thisaigal TV