Monday, September 12, 2011

Hunger strike protester collapses

Source: (By Teoh El Sen, 12/9/2011)
One of 10 men from a logging company staging a hunger strike relay against the Pahang government collapsed this morning and had to be sent to the hospital here.
Shareholder Ramli Suleiman, 46, is the second person to have ‘burnt out’ after surviving only on liquids for five days. The first was 68-year-old John Chong who was sent home on Saturday morning after suffering from intense pain. A doctor diagnosed that Chong cannot continue the strike as the man’s hernia had relapsed. Both men started the strike last Thursday.
Earlier today, Ramli was found in a weakened and incoherent state, lying in a makeshift tent in front of the Loke Hup temple in Segambut. Alerted to his condition, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng called for an ambulance to the scene. While being carried to the ambulance by medical personnel, Ramli was seen struggling and muttering: “Biar saya, biar saya (leave me alone)”. He was sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Two other men, shareholders Lim Ting Sin, 68, and Pang Chow Seng, 70, have now taken over to from the two continue the hunger strike. The 10 men, directors and shareholders of of logging firm Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd, want the Pahang government to abide by a court ruling to pay their company RM70 million.
Pahang MB a lawless hooligan’
The company had in 2002 sued the state for breaching a logging contract and the Kuantan High Court ruled in their favour in May 2007. It ordered the Pahang government to pay them more than RM37 million plus interest of 8% per annum. The total came close to RM70 million. When they started the strike on Sept 8, the group said they would do it in pairs and if anyone of them collapsed, others would take their place, saying “death” was preferable to injustice.
Seruan Gemilang manager Lee Sin alleged today that Pahang menteri besar Adnan Yaakob had lied in a statement to the media yesterday concerning the case. “He said that the state was still looking at possible legal remedies, but we know for a fact that we’ve exhausted all available legal avenues,” said Lee, who then threw a challenge to Adnan. “If it’s true that we can still can appeal in court, we will stop the hunger strike. But if you’re lying and we have no other way, then you should settle the debt immediately,” he said.
“The menteri besar is a lawless hooligan,” said Lee. “We are old and I’m retired now, so I’m doing this. As Malaysians and we should be abiding the law, especially the state government. “Even if they don’t do anything, at least we are highligthing the matter and letting the public know what the state is doing,” said current protester Lim, camped under a tree today.
Also read: ‘Give us justice or death’

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