TASEK UTARA 1974: STUDENT-SQUATTER SOLIDARITY
To rally support for its sinister plot, the NEC desperately tried to exploit racialism and Islam in vain. Students are no fools to be so easily misled. Instead the NEC clique was booed and jeered by an angry crowd comprising of students of all ethnic groups.
The NEC could not stifle the struggle of students for the unconditional Felease of those arrested - e.g. the efforts of the students who travelled all the way south to fight for the rights of the oppressed squatters.
Forty-five minutes before the NEC overpowered UMSU, Radio Malaysia had already announced the event! The forcible takeover occurred at 8.30 pm on Sept. 21.
Nine hours later, the FRU and police acted on the Johore Bahru squatters and the students there. Why the delay? Because UMSU had to be squashed before harsher action in Johore Bahru could be taken.
Otherwise, UMSU, together with students from other higher institutions could loudly demonstrate its anger against the heightened atrocities.
Pretending to "sympathise with the Tasek Utara squatters" and abusing the interests of the "Malays" and "Islam", these fascists collaborated with the authorities to try to suppress the squatters' just struggle.
Later, in a radio interview held on 29th Sept., the president of PBMUM, the Malay Language Society of the University of Malaya, Hamzah Zainnuddin, who claimed to be upholding the principles of Islam and the people's struggle, clearly sided with the goverriment.
What happened to his supposedly Islamic and pro-people stand when he attacked the oppressed and sided with the brutal oppressors?
He claimed that the authorities' move to pull and burn down the houses of the poor in Tasek Utara was appropriate and necessary to curb further squatting.
He ignored the fact that poor people had to build houses in Tasek Utara precisely because they had no other place of shelter and with their low incomes, could not afford to rent a house while the government never acceded to any of the squatters' requests.
The statement by Hamzah Zainnuddin clearly showed his stand and that of other members of the NEC towards the squatter problem in Tasek Utara and other problems of the people in this country.
Therefore, it is not surprising why they acted to destroy the unity of the students in order that the authorities, through the FRU and police, could pull down the houses of the squatters in Tasek Utara and arrest them in front of the Johore State Government Secretariat on Sunday 22nd Sept. 1974.