Residents of Kampung Sungai Baru resist eviction after utilities cut off

ABOUT 47 residents of Kampung Sungai Baru had their electricity and water supply cut off around 9am on Monday (June 10) by the land owner, in an attempt to force them to vacate their homes.

This follows an evacuation notice issued by the Federal Territory Land and Mines Office (PTGWP) to vacate the land last October, failing which legal action would be taken.

These residents remain adamant that the government should renegotiate with them over the redevelopment plan to ensure fair monetary compensation for their land acquisition.

The majority of single-storey terrace homeowners say they would stay put until the government addresses their concerns.

A resident, who wished to be identified only as Kak Ani, said she still hoped for better compensation from the developer, despite already receiving RM900,000 for her home.

"My house faces the Petronas Twin Towers. I feel that I am entitled to better compensation," Ani said.

Similarly, Hashimi Harun, a flat owner, stated that the compensation they received was too little based on market rates, especially since other landowners nearby for a different project received much better deals.

"We are the losers here. My father and mother, who are now 88 and 80 years old, bought this unit 50 years ago.

"We deserve a better deal than what we are being offered. All we ask is for the government to give us a fairer deal," he reiterated.

The residents highlighted their plight at a press conference chaired by Federal Territories Amanah Chairman, Khalid Abdul Samad, on Monday morning in Kampung Sungai Baru.

Khalid expressed his disappointment that the authorities had cut the electricity and water supply to force the remaining residents to move.

"I hear there are senior citizens, the infirm, and even babies affected by this move," he said, adding that the government must be held accountable.

He stated that the deal offered by the developer, Ritzy Gloss Sdn Bhd, at RM450 per square foot, was too low.

"This land is not Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS) land; there are no restrictions whatsoever. Hence, residents should be able to get a much better deal," Khalid said.

When asked how much the residents were expecting, Khalid said they were willing to settle for RM950 per square foot.

He also raised concerns about the developer possibly flipping the land later for a massive profit, leaving the original landowners with an unfair deal.

Located on 5.23ha of land owned by Kampung Baru Development Corporation (PKB), the village has 64 terrace houses and 264 units of PKNS flats.

In 2016, there was a plan to redevelop the area, which included building a mixed development high-rise.

Since then, the majority of residents had reportedly agreed to the redevelopment, except for some terrace homeowners.

This disagreement stalled the redevelopment, prompting the developer to use the Land Acquisition Act 1960 to acquire the land.

On Dec 27, 2022, StarMetro reported that the developer had already paid between RM800,000 and RM3mil in compensation to the terrace homeowners.

Last year, the Federal Territory Land and Mines Office (PTGWP) issued an order to vacate by Oct 5, failing which legal action would be taken.

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