Just days after the ex-estate workers in Batu Estate gained a no-demolition assurance from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the ex-estate workers of Bukit Jalil are looking for similar solution.
The 41 families residing on a 26-acre land here today lodged a police report against DBKL, for unlawful eviction.
This comes on the back of a fresh eviction notice issued by DBKL several days back, with the residents being given a 14-day deadline to clear out of their homes.
“This letter was served only as a notice (notis pemberitahuan), no where does it state the law by which they are trying to evict these residents,” said Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan.
“If they are trying to evict them under the Clearance of Squatters Regulation (1969), it is invalid because this people are estate workers,” he added while speaking to reporters outside of Bukit Jalil police station.
Private or government?
Arutchelvan also claimed that the residents are still very much in the dark as to whether the land they occupy now belongs to the government or a private developer.
“We heard that the land belongs to Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd. If that’s the case, why aren’t we negotiating directly with the company, as is the case in Batu Estate?” he asked.
He was critical of the eviction notice in particular, which includes a reference to a ‘said compensation sum’ (pampasan yang termaktub), which the residents will receive once they clear out of their homes.
“There’s nothing in black and white. During the meeting (with Federal Terittories and Urban Well-Being Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin on February 23), the offer was only verbal,” he said.
“We requested for a black and white copy, but (Human Resources Minister) S. Subramaniam said that we would receive one after the meeting. We are yet to receive it.”
The residents had already sent a letter to Raja Nong Chik on February 25 demanding for the official compensation offer letter.
That too received no response.
Police should not interfere
Apart from asking the police to investigate the land’s ownership status in their report, the residents also do not want any involvement by the police force in this matter.
“Usually they will use the police force to evict or arrest people when such situations arise,” he said.
“So we don’t want them to be involved at any level.”
Arutchelvan also spared a little time to mock Raja Nong Chik’s claims, which were made during the February 23 meeting.
“He said RM 23,000 is equivalent to receiving a free house. How can you buy a house with RM 23,000?” he asked.
“And he also said that the government has done a lot for Indians. When I asked him to name some, he told me about Little India.”
“We have a group of estate workers who have served for four generations struggling to keep their homes, and he talks about Little India,” he said.