THE demolition of squatter houses in Paya Jaras Hilir in Sungai Buloh, Selangor on Wednesday was carried out as provided by the law, says the Petaling Land and District Office (PTDP).
The torn down structures were built illegally on state land, the office said in a statement yesterday.The houses were cleared to make way for the widening of the 1.15km Sungai Kedondong.
The RM5.93mil project by the state government was to support increased water capacity during heavy rain.
“The project which began on Dec 2,2015 was supposed to be completed by May 31,2017 but was delayed twice due to the impeding illegal structures surrounding the river.
“Extensions were granted twice from June 1,2017 to July 25 last year, and from July 26 last year to Sept 18 this year, ” the statement read.
Due to the delays, the supporting structures such as geotextiles, erosion control blanket and wall system which were erected on-site were damaged after being left idle for too long.
The neighbourhood was divided into four plots – plot A and B comprising 50 structures, and plot C and D with 45 structures.
“Demolition was only carried out in plot C and D.
“Of the 45 structures, 36 were demolished while nine were not as children sitting for their PT3 and SPM examinations lived there.
“The structures demolished included houses, sundry shops, workshops and garages, ” the statement said, adding that demolition for plot A and B would be carried out on a later date.
Two notices by the land office dating May 12,2016 and Aug 5,2019 were issued to notify the residents to vacate the premises.
Paya Jaras assemblyman Mohd Khairuddin Othman, when contacted, said some residents demanded that the state government pay their monthly rentals and give them monetary compensation.
He said he negotiated for a delay of the project in 2015 in order to secure residential units under the Rumah Selangorku scheme for them.
On Aug 3, all the squatters were offered units under the scheme.
“Initially, 150 houses were planned for demolition. However, I negotiated for the number to be reduced to 92.”
“Earlier this year, we held a census and obtained the names of residents who were interested with the housing scheme.”
StarMetro visited the area and found that several makeshift tents were erected at a vacant lot to shelter the now homeless squatters.
Sundusiah Ghani, 50, who lived in plot C, was upset, adding that she and her husband, both permanent residents (PR) from Indonesia have lived there for 20 years.
“Although we have PR status, our five children were born here. They are Malaysians.”
Another PR Satiyah Samsidi, 65, who worked as a cleaner, said she and her husband, also a PR holder, had to take leave from work to take care of their four children.
Selangor Opposition chief Rizam Ismail, who visited the neighbourhood on Sept 19 with Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Tanjung Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar, said he would raise the matter at the next state assembly sitting.
Meanwhile, Ismail said Selangor Umno would provide legal aid to the residents, adding that the demolition of the squatter homes was inhumane.
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