The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council tore down the only remaining structure in Kampung Berembang in Ampang – a surau – but not before leaving the 30-year-old village looking like a battle ground.
Scores of residents of Kampung Berembang, along with members of several non-government organisations and political parties, were involved in a physical battle with enforcement officers from the council, who were backed by police and the Federal Reserve Unit to save the surau.
Last week, the council had demolished all the 50-odd houses in the village, leaving only the surau behind – that too after a long and hard protest by the villagers and members of a grassroots movement, Jerit.
The villagers had since put up makeshift shelters amid their demolished houses in the bid to protect the surau.
This morning, MPAJ, armed with four bulldozers, came in to finish the job and again they faced stiff resistence from the villagers.
Some 60 villagers and activists had stood steadfast in their last stand against the demolition. They had also parked their vehicles in a cordon around the surau to stop the bulldozers.
Attempts by the pro-tem secretary-general of Parti Sosialis Malaysia S Arutchelvan to negotiate with enforcement agencies failed and a scuffle broke out when the MPAJ personnel started uprooting trees just outside the surau.
But the situation got out of hand when the MPAJ enforcement team started cutting the fence of the surau at 11am.
They then towed away the vehicles cordoning the surau using MPAJ tow-trucks to an unknown destination.
Villagers who tried to block the demolition were violently shoved and pushed aside by the MPAJ enforcement officers, who numbered more than 100.
Things took an ugly turn when the police and the FRU joined the fray to beat the villagers and their supporters who had gathered there.
Women and children, who were holed up inside the surau, were also not spared.
The enforcement officers were aggressive against both the women and children. One woman who had locked herself with a steel chain to the surau was forcibly removed.
The officers were seen pulling the hair of some of the women and slapping the children who refused to leave the surau.
“I was afraid but somehow I found the courage to try to stop the officers, maybe because I care for the surau,” said Aida Suhaida (below), 15, who was slapped by a MPAJ officer.
“We are women, and the men should not touch us, but they kicked me and stepped on my stomach while I was sitting at the (surau’s) staircase,” said Norhasliana Osman Taad, 22, who was pull by the officers until her cloth was torn.
“They slapped my face until my eyes turned red. The children were also stepped on by them,” she said.
In the aftermath of the melee, 11 people – nine activists and two villagers – were arrested and taken to the Ulu Kelang Taman Keramat police station and Ampang Jaya police station.
As the dust settled, Kampung Berembang looked like a battle zone with villagers fallen to the ground, some crying in pain, about four fainted and some vomited as a result of sheer exhaustion.
By 1pm, the MPAJ had completed their surau demolition job.
Source from Malaysiakini,thank