Panel to decide on status of bungalow

The Sidhu Brar family hopes their family home in Rawang will be declared a heritage building by the National Heritage Department. — filepic

THE decision on whether a century-old family home in Rawang can be declared a heritage building will be decided by the expert architectural heritage and landscape committee under the National Heritage Department (JWN).

This was relayed to Maljindar Singh Sidhu Brar by JWN heritage registration director Mohamad Muda Bahadin in a letter dated Sept 26.

Officials from the department had visited the 97-year-old bungalow in Rawang on Sept 7 to determine its historical importance.

According to the letter, the decision on whether this bungalow will be gazetted under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645) or otherwise will be decided by the committee.

Meanwhile, the Sidhu Brar family is overjoyed that they can remain in their family home longer as the Shah Alam High Court has allowed a second stay order until Nov 15.

The Shah Alam High Court had earlier granted their appeal for a stay until Sept 28.

Maljindar Singh said the family was optimistic that things would work out in their favour.

“Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s office has taken an interest in this case.

“I was informed that the mentri besar has instructed a special task force committee to investigate it,” he said when met.

It was reported earlier that the bungalow, formerly a mining company’s office, was one of the first residential homes to receive electricity in Malaysia and the family had lived there since 1960.

The Sino-Malay-Palladin building and several other houses were originally built in 1920 by Berjuntai Tin Dredging Bhd, which had been given the mining lease for the area.

In 1959, the company sold the property to Pologa Nathan, an employee, who subsequently sold it to Maljindar’s great-grandmother Gurtha Kaur.

According to Maljindar, the family first applied to alienate the land with the Kuala Kubu Baru Land Office in 1967 but did not receive any reply.

In 1989, through a Deed of Assignment, Gurtha transferred her interests in the property to Maljindar’s father, the late Mahindar Singh.

However, the mining lease for the land had already been granted to Associated Pan Malaysia Cement Sdn Bhd (APMC) and Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd.

In 2007, Mahindar and 14 others filed a suit against APMC and Lafarge after they were asked to vacate the premises.

Last year, the Shah Alam High Court held that the family was only a licensee when they settled on the land, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal.

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