DBKL grants Batu Estate residents reprieve

DBKL has agreed not to demolish the Batu Estate residents’ homes until developer Mayland Sdn Bhd obtains an eviction order from court, said its director-general Salleh Yusup.

Salleh announced cancellation of the planned demolition on March 3 after meeting PKR vice-chairman N. Surendran, Batu MP Tian Chua, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and some 50 residents in an hour-long dialogue.

Salleh(left) said the residents and Mayland must go back to the discussion table before seeking DBKL’s involvement.

“Kalau tak nanti orang cakap kita favour kepada pemaju (otherwise, DBKL will be blamed for favouring the developer),” he said.

The city council, according to Salleh (right), was asked by Mayland to evict the residents and demolish their homes.

He justified DBKL’s positive response to Mayland by pointing out that local councils are authorised to by the Emergency Ordinance 1969 of Essential Regulations (Squatters Clearance) to evict illegal occupants of a private land.

“The law is still applicable. If there is a request from a landowner, we can [invoke the law],” he asserted.

Surendran, while welcoming DBKL’s decision, cautions that the authority has not given up on invoking the Emergency Ordinance in handling land disputes.

Chua, on the other hand, called upon Mayland to execute its corporate social responsibility.

“Today’s decision is a partial victory. It is now up to Mayland to give a fair offer and resolve the deadlock,” he said.

Lim later told Komunitikini that the assurance given by DBKL not to evict the residents and demolish their homes was only a verbal undertaking, and hence subject to change.

Nevertheless, the residents were relieved to hear the news. Thilagendran Vadiveloo (left), whose son is about to get married this Sunday, is pleased that a reception to be held at his home can proceed without fear of demolition.

The Low family also cheered the decision, but they maintained their stand that they would like a house to be built on the current site of their home.

Today’s meeting took place after some 50 residents held another picket outside the DBKL headquarters on Jalan Raja Laut this morning — the second since┬álast Friday

The residents had earlier vowed to go on a hunger strike if DBKL did not withdraw the demolition order today.