VILLAGERS TO GET NEW HOMES
They will stay in transit homes until the new homes are completed
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.
Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail (with mic) announcing the good news to residents of Kampung Mutiara in Batu Ferringhi yesterday.