A group of approximately 40 Kampung Segambut Permai residents in Kuala Lumpur gathered at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) headquarters on Friday (Dec 27) to submit a memorandum asking to be given permanent housing.
"We hope that the housing will be near our original housing area and we also want to be located in close proximity to each other," said 35-year-old resident Nurul Nadia Mohd Johar.
Another resident, 36-year-old Mohd Nazeem Sultan Mohamed said that residents were not informed beforehand that the units offered would only be temporary.
"If we had known that, we would not have accepted the previous offer of help by the government.
"We are worried that we might have to move again after the six-month period expires," he said
Mohd Nazeem added that many of the units offered were in poor condition and needed repairs and said that DBKL should offer the residents "rent-and-buy" units instead.
Similar views were shared by 40-year-old Chitra Palinappan, who said that her family of 18 had to break up after being offered two separate units in PA Sri Sarawak and PA Hang Tuah in Pudu.
"The unit offered to me was really small and had only one bedroom. It was really inconvenient for our family," she said.
Meanwhile, 56-year-old Thamayanthi Raju said that she hoped the residents could be given housing that is near to their old area.
"Some of us were offered a unit which was far from the old housing areas, such as in Pantai Dalam and Kerinchi. It will be a hassle for us to travel to work and our children's schools daily," she said.
StarMetro learned that following the handing of the memorandum, a closed-door discussion session was held between several residents and DBKL.
On Dec 20, StarMetro reported Mohd Nazeem as saying that the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) had a leasehold ownership over the land in 1981, after which it transferred the ownership to a private company in 2012.
He said the Segambut Permai Umno branch held a meeting to discuss the matter then, but many residents were unaware of it.
"PKNS did not consult us and instead sold off the land to a third party which had no interest there, ' said Mohd Nazeem.
Resident Mohd Fariz Ramli said the residents consulted a lawyer early this month for advise.
"We were told that another lawyer which purportedly represented us signed off an agreement which stated that we agreed to vacate our land in 2012.
"However, we had never even met this lawyer, ' he said, while urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to step in.
On Dec 25, the private company came with a bulldozer to demolish the houses.
This resulted in a standoff between them and the residents which was resolved following an agreement for the residents to vacate the area by Jan 6.
The residents were accompanied by representative from the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur PSM chairperson Soh Sook Hwa in a statement questioned why the residents were not offered the land by PKNS in 2012.
"Priority should have been given to the residents who had lived in the area since the 1960s as opposed to a private company which had no interest there.
She added that the government should not treat the residents like it would other PPR and PA applicants.
"The area on which the village sits used to be a mining site. Since that time, the residents had lived and developed the area for three decades.
"Their contribution to the area's development should be given a consideration," she added.
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