BUKIT MERTAJAM: A group of people claiming to be the original settlers of Kampung Permatang Tok Suboh here caused a ruckus at the launch and offer letter handing-over ceremony for a rent-to-own housing scheme here.
The incident occurred right after Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin completed the handing over of offer letters to qualified candidates at the Tok Suboh People Housing Project (PPR) multi-purpose hall here at about 10.30am on Wednesday (Oct 16).
A few were seen shouting and demanding to meet Zuraida to express their dissatisfaction over their exclusion as qualified applicants.
"Why are our names not in the list? We are the original Permatang Tok Suboh villagers," said one.
The group of about fifty people were asked to wait in the hall and Zuraida would see them after the event.
Zuraida, during a press conference, said the disgruntled villagers had submitted their application through the Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda).
"The villagers did not get the full details, as there was no communication between Perda and the state government.
"That is why the state government and housing department have no idea about this," she said.
Zuraida, however, said one of the villagers produced a list of forty-two people who had applied for the rent-two-own scheme.
She asked them to reapply at one of the registration counters outside the multi-purpose hall.
"To be fair to them, I asked them to get their application done today," she said.
Zuraida added that the state government would also engage other villagers who did not have the opportunity to apply for the housing scheme.
"The application will take some time to process. Nevertheless, we will put their name in main KIV (keep-in-view) list and the state will see who is qualified and eligible.
"For those who are not successful, don't worry – your names will be put on the list for a future project," she said.
The villagers' representative, Rosli Syukor, 43, said he was thankful that the minister was willing to meet and listen to their grouses.
He said the villagers were satisfied after listening to Zuraida's explanation.
"We are very grateful. We have been living here for many years and we want to thank the minister for listening to us," he said.