The PKR-led Selangor Government today stands accused of "stealing" 10 acres of land that was given to a group of estate workers as compensation when they lost their jobs 20 years ago in a case that is set to embarrass the party nationally as GE13 approaches.
The former Ladang Coalfields estate workers say they were promised the land as compensation after they were made redundant in 1991 and the ownership of the site transferred to a developer called KL-Kepong Country Homes Sdn Bhd.They said that in 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat took over the state they met with PKR Exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar who is in charge of health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government.
One of the workers, Lobat Raju, said: "He spoke to KL-Kepong Bhd, the parent company of Kl-Kepong Country Homes, and later told us that the developer had agreed to set aside 10 acres for us to build our own homes.
"A Tamil paper, Malaysian Nanban, carried the story quoting him. I still have the report. We believed him [Xavier] and were very happy."
But now the plantation workers say the land has been earmarked for a residential Tamil school – something that has been confirmed by Selangor Mentri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
"We are not against the fully residential Tamil school but it is unfair for the state government to use our land for its own political mileage," Lobat said.
The claims by these former plantation workers are an embarrassment to Pakatan Rakyat because the pitch it makes to voters is that it is the coalition that keeps its word, looks after the little man, and avoids the land use scandals it loves to accuse Barisan Nasional of being involved in.
This latest accusation also follows close behind protests in Selangor over water shortages that have been caused by mismanagement at a state government level and lack of infrastructure planning.
There was also the recent awkward revelation, reported by The Choice, that Selangor leads the sorry league table of most welfare recipients in the land after PAS-controlled Kedah and Kelantan.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim holds up Selangor as an example of how his coalition would rule nationally. Incidents such as this beg the question: Is this how you would keep your promises nationally?
As The Choice recently reported BN Chief Datuk Seri Najib Razak has Selangor in his sights at GE13 and it is easy to see why. Aside from the examples of poor government and broken promises that are now emerging with greater and greater frequency, the state's 20 federal seats are fragmented with PKR holding just six of them and crisis-hit PAS clinging onto five.
In February Anwar stood up at a ceremah in Selangor and asked voters to judge Pakatan on their record in the state. Yes Anwar, that's exactly what the voters might do at GE13.