Bulldozers And Fire

Dealing with such squatters normally involves a brutal process. The area is systerr~atically harassed, employing the FRU (Federal Reserve Unit), bulldozers and demolition squads, sometimes also employing gangsters to help.

Sometimes, e.g. in Singapore, fires have been started by you-know-who, with little concern for the lives and property of the poor.

Demolish the Kampong!

A report of what followed in the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) of Oct. 4 said: "The first action against the squatters : took place on Sept. 8, two weeks after the general election.Without warning, a demolition squad invaded Kampong Barisan Nasional and tore down more than half the structures.

Most of these were still under construction. Families were given one veek to quit. "Only a handful complied with the order. The majority decided to stay, claiming that they were destitute, having pawned their '' valuables and invested their life savings in their new homes.

"Early on September 15, several truck loads of riot police .. surrounded all approaches to the area. . . . . . University of Malaya student leader Ilishammuddin Rais made a plea asking the authorities not to evict the squatters. . . But the order to demolish was given and the entire village was flattened.

"Nine were arrested for resisting the order. . . They included' Parti Rakyat Secretary-General Syed Hamid Ali who had arrived earlier to take up the squatters' cause. However, they were released on the same day, after being questioned by the police." The FEER omitted to report the violence, destruction and brutalities committed, and that the FRU was fully armed with pistols and machine guns; which they used to threaten resisting squatters.