VIL­LAGERS TO GET NEW HOMES

They will stay in tran­sit homes un­til the new homes are com­pleted

New Straits Times - - News / Nation - MO­HAMED BASYIR GE­ORGE TOWN m.basyir@nst.com.my

SOME 350 Kam­pung Mu­tiara vil­lagers in Batu Fer­ringhi, who were served evic­tion no­tices yes­ter­day, have re­ceived good news. They will be given new homes ad­ja­cent to their ex­ist­ing ones in the near fu­ture.

As per a court or­der, vil­lagers will have to va­cate their homes within the next three months. They will re­side in tran­sit homes in Seri Tanjung Pi­nang here un­til their new homes are com­pleted.

Lati­pah Din, 46, said she had been stay­ing in Kam­pung Mu­tiara for more than 30 years.

“Sud­denly we were asked to va­cant our homes. How can I leave this place? But, my prayers were an­swered. A new home awaits us. This is one of the hap­pi­est mo­ments for me.”

“There are many sweet mem­o­ries for us here. We can’t sim­ply walk away. I am thank­ful that we will be given a new home nearby,” said wheel­chair-bound K. Govin­daraju, 61.

“I would like to thank all who helped us all these years.”

The Ur­ban Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Malaysia had bought 544 units at Seri Tanjung Pi­nang 1 project from East­ern & Ori­en­tal Bhd, where it will house the vil­lagers tem­po­rar­ily.

Bukit Ben­dera Umno divi­sion chief Datuk Ah­mad Is­mail said he would meet Ur­ban Well­be­ing, Hous­ing and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tan Sri Noh Omar to ob­tain the strata ti­tles for the tran­sit homes.

“Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak, through the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Co­or­di­na­tion Unit, has contributed RM10 mil­lion to buy the 2.1ha land, cost­ing up to RM33 mil­lion, for a mixed-devel­op­ment project at the plot of land ad­ja­cent to Kam­pung Mu­tiara. Af­ter the place has been de­vel­oped, the vil­lagers will be re­lo­cated there.”

The landowner had bought the 1.41ha plot in the vil­lage in 2006. The res­i­dents had been served evic­tion no­tices, but this was put on hold un­til a fair com­pen­sa­tion was given.

The fi­nal evic­tion was sup­posed to be yes­ter­day, but the vil­lagers and Batu Fer­ringhi res­i­dents stayed up all night to pre­vent the landowner or his rep­re­sen­ta­tives from en­ter­ing the vil­lage for the de­mo­li­tion ex­er­cise.

Deputy Chief Min­is­ter I Datuk Mohd Rashid Has­non and Ah­mad en­gaged in a se­ries of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the landowner to set­tle the dis­pute out of court.

“Apart from the three months evic­tion no­tice, he (the landowner) also asked for quit rent to be waived for five years, at a cost of RM8,000 per year. It is sub­ject to the state Land Com­mit­tee and the state gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion.

“He also re­quested for Sec­tion 4 of the Land Ac­qui­si­tion Act to be re­voked as it gives power to the state gov­ern­ment to ac­quire the land,” Rashid said.

PIC BY RAMDZAN MASIAM

Bukit Ben­dera Umno divi­sion chief Datuk Ah­mad Is­mail (with mic) an­nounc­ing the good news to res­i­dents of Kam­pung Mu­tiara in Batu Fer­ringhi yes­ter­day.

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