TASEK UTARA 1974: STUDENT-SQUATTER SOLIDARITY
"We Demand Justice"
On Sept. 16, with all their houses completely demolished and building materials totally smashed up, the squatters (60 families, 300 people) - men, women, old folks, small children and infants - camped in front of the Johore State Secretariat.
They were exposed to the rain, sun, and cold winds. Many, most of them children and infants, were sick. Placards carried their demands and condemnation of the authorities.
A large banner read: "KAMI MENUNTUT KEADILAN. KAMI MAHU TANAH." (WE DEMAND JUSTICE. WE WANT LAND). Primary schoolchildren chanted "Kasi Tanah" ("Give us land"), "Mana Mentri Besar?" ("Where is the Chief Minister?"), "Orang kaya makin kaya, orang miskin makin miskin" ("The rich become richer, the poor poorer").
The children were singing:
"Ini tanah kita Orang sudah rampas, Kita ambil balik, Buat khemah sini. Periuk besar-besar, Makan sama-sama, Walaupun susah, Kita seronok. Kita ramai-ramai, Tentang kezaliman, Tahan hak-hak kita, Sampai kita menang."
This is our land, . Which has been robbed, We take it back, And build our camp. With a big pot, We eat together, Though difficult, We have no complaints. We are together, To oppose cruelities, To defend our rights, Until final victory.
The men stayed back at the camp site to guard against paid gangsters and to avoid being picked up individually on the way to work by Special Branch agents.
Their employers (obviously directed by Special Branch) used their absence from work as the excuse to sack them.