Two Malayisakini readers wrote interesting letters about the Raja of Pandamartan’s illegally constructed mansion in Kampung Idaman.
Ahmad Fuad said: I cannot help but notice some very interesting observations that has emerged from the King of Pandamaran's ‘meet the press’ session. I must say from the offset that what had emerged are traits that we never should expect from the very people whom we had chosen to represent us in the first place. But I am left with no doubt that these are traits built over years of arrogance, conceit and greed with very little (if at all) realisation of accountability.
Let us consider these:
1. That the mansion is his ‘right’, and all because he had helped built ‘a mosque to replace a ramshackle surau, putting up a multi-purpose hall and constructing a religious school’. He had not in any way insinuate that building mosques, roads, schools, or any public utility for that matter are all part and parcel of being the elected representative. That a house without building approval (just like anyone else) is not a right. Worse still, if it was built on a piece of land that was alienated by an authority which include one's offspring, and who is one of the 11 that is slotted to live there.
2. Forty years as a politician (part of which as the town councillor), and he does not know the procedure to construct a house so much so that he had to seek ‘the assistance of housing experts to guide him in adhering to the proper procedures’.
3. Warn the opposition not to politicise the issue! You are a town councillor. In short, you are representing a political party. You abused your position, knowing full well that you will not suffer the same fate than had it been a lesser mortal who had committed the crime. You have the gall to tell your opponents “not to politicise the issue”?
4. Last but by no means least, cry! This is a time-tested strategy and was effectively put to use by his previous boss.
Meanwhile reader H Rod was more critical of both the local authorities, opposition parties and the media. He wrote:
It is truly ironic that the mansion and its ignominious owner are still standing proud amidst all the controversy while Hindu temples and squatter homes of the poor and ethnically marginalised are being demolished arbitrarily without so much as a second thought in the very same state.
If only the opposition and the media would take it upon themselves to highlight the issue of the destruction of the last bastion of Indian unity just as vehemently.