Over 3,500 squatter houses slated for demolition in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police expect to demolish more than 3,500 squatter houses in the next two months, says Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jauteh Dikun.

He said 3,542 demolition notices have been issued to squatters, with 1,332 houses demolished in squatter colonies to date.

He said over 200 squatter houses were demolished in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu (160) and Semporna (138), adding these homes were located on government land.

"We expect more than 3,500 squatter homes will be demolished by the end of July or in August. We will continue with these efforts until we reach our goal," he said on Tuesday (July 9).

Comm Jauteh announced on June 27 that Sabah had begun a multi-agency operation to identify squatter settlements and issue demolition notices.

He said the three-phase operation, dubbed Ops Koloni Setinggan, would begin with small squatter colonies in Kota Kinabalu, Semporna, Kudat and Labuan before it is extended to larger ones in the state.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Comm Jauteh said the demolitions were carried out according to the law.

"We issue notices to squatters so they can make preparations (to vacate).

"Sometimes, we even issue two notices, giving them 14 days to leave initially and another 14 days in the second notice.

"We are being overly aggressive," he said.

Comm Jauteh said authorities will ensure that demolished houses are not rebuilt.

"We will advise landowners to put up fences and signboards to warn against land intrusion.

"If an intrusion still occurs, we will take action under the Penal Code," he said.

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