Tan Sri Khalid, the Ijok candidate for Parti Keadilan Rakyat has replied to a blog post by human rights activist Chang Lih Kang in his blog “Road Not Taken“.
“Apologies are mere words but what really count are deeds. I believed the article titled “A fault confessed is half redressed” by Chang Lih Kang should have been published before the Ijok by election or even before Parti Keadilan Rakyat decided on its choice of candidate for the by election.
Then everybody, particularly the voters, can know the full truth of the issue to make a well informed decision. To publish it after polling day is an act which deprived the voters to question the candidate his version of the issues. I wish the writer had the courage to raise the questions and debate them during the by election.
Instead I would suggest that the writer pays a visit to Bukit Subang, where Guthrie Properties, under my leadership, built quality low cost housing. This housing project, undertaken to provide alternative homes for estate workers of Bukit Jelutong, were completed well before they were asked to move to make way for the development of Bukit Jelutong.
The Bukit Subang project not only caters for the estate workers but squatters from other areas in Selangor were also relocated there.
Now that the Ijok by election is done and over with, let us focus on work at hand and prove ourselves by our deeds. I at least, have the mandate of and responsibility to the 4,034 voters of Ijok who voted for me. With this mandate I intend to do my level best to serve the people of Ijok.
As part of my plan for Ijok, I will set up a Concerned Citizens Group to help plan the development of Ijok. Some may dismiss this as they have the mindset that only the government can realize development. I am fully confident in this plan. But take not my words for it but rather judge me on my deeds.
I hereby invite the writer to participate in this endeavour particularly to develop the estate areas such as Tuan Mee and Coalfields. If the writer and his friends are willing to take charge of the effort, they will have the full backing and expertise of Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim at their disposal. Then together the writer can have a taste of the practical side of developing an area.
During the by election campaign, the Barisan Nasional government granted land titles to the estate workers. This, based on my experience in developing Bukit Jelutong is totally meaningless only to be promised to own land titles without definite and proper allocation of land areas. The titles are of no value until the statuses are converted from agriculture to residence or commercial. The process of land conversation and planning approval usually take years and cost quite a big sum of money. The situation can be worse if the land status is estate land.
I hope that the writer take up this challenge in order to prove his sincerity in the concern for the marginalized groups with deeds and results.
I believe being fair and just, the hallmark of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, means any development whatsoever must be done with full appreciation of the social needs of society.
In a civil society, ownership is guaranteed and at the same time the right to livelihood of every citizen must be protected and fought for with vigour.
But the bulk of this responsibility falls on the government as servant of the people. This I believe will be a priority for keADILan and its partners in Barisan Rakyat when we are able to form the alternative government.
I hope the writer will be prepared to take active role in developing the less developed and deprived sectors of society with a resolve at least as strong as his determination in demanding my apology for a deed I never did.
Abdul Khalid Ibrahim
May 6, 2007