50 years and still waiting for land grants

Hassan (centre) with Che Zakaria (third from left) and Taman Sri Saujana villagers during a visit to the site of one of the demolished houses. — NUR AISYAH MAZALAN/The Star

Several villagers in Taman Sri Saujana near Plentong, Johor Baru are hoping that the government will step in and help them obtain the land grants they have been waiting for more than 50 years.

Housewife Anggerik Abidin, 48, said she had been living in the area all her life, as her late father was the former village chief.

“All of us are second-generation villagers and our parents paid monthly housing fees to the company that owned this land.

“However, the privately-owned land status has changed and it is now earmarked for development, ” she said at a press conference with Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

Anggerik claimed that since 2015, more than 10 houses had been bulldozed to make way for development.

“We are not squatters as we have the necessary documents, ” she said.

Hassan, a lawyer, said the laws must be respected by everyone.

“This is a matter of rights and everyone, including the government, must cooperate to resolve the issue.

“A house cannot be demolished by a third party without a court order, ” he said, adding that his parliamentary office would be helping the villagers.

Meanwhile, Permas assemblyman Datuk Seri Che Zakaria Mohd Salleh, who was present at the press conference, said he understood what the villagers were going through.

“I used to stay in the area years ago and I understand how difficult it is for them to get the grants.

“I urge them to write a memorandum to the government and I will make sure it is handed to Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, ” said Zakaria.

The villagers have since appointed Malaysia Retired Education Officers Association deputy president Datuk Jemali Paiman to represent them and get help from the government.

Jemali said some of the villagers had already received their land grants but the majority had yet to get it.

“There are more than 800 lots of land within a 0.4ha area.

“I will do research on the villagers’ claims before sending a memorandum to the government, including Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Hasni, ” he added.

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