The remaining group of 34 families in Kpg Kerinchi held a farewell press conference, amidst the ongoing demolition of the 11 blocks of 4 storey flats which make up the kampung.
Two weeks ago, on the 3rd April, the developers together with the Land Office were there to forcefully evict the families and bulldozers and cranes were brought in to start the demolition. With the intervention of YB Nurul Izzah, the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai and the NGO Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor, the DBKL (City Hall) agreed to an extension of time to enable the families to finalise the details to move to another low cost flats at Puchong.
Mohd Idros Tokiran, a committee member of the Kampung Kerinchi Action Committee said that the reason for the press conference was to voice their unhappiness over the forced eviction. He claims that the developer together with the Minister of Federal Territories (YB Senator Raja Nong Chik) have violated their rights and have made various accusations against them.
YB Nurul Izzah, who was present this morning to lend moral support to the 34 families said ” it is not fair to label these families as anti-development, agitators or traitors. They have their rights having stayed there for so long and the authorities should have made more effort to help them rather than harass them with forceful eviction.”
Even as YB Nurul was addressing the families and members of the press, the demolition work was in progress at a few of the blocks. With tears in their eyes they continued with the farewell meeting and many of the residents stood up to voice their unhappiness and sorrow over this evitction. Many of the families have lived there for 50 years.
Present at the meeting was Cikgu Ishak Surin, the Chairman of Pertubuhan Pertahankan Tanah Warisan who said, “this is a sad moment in history and we cannot forget the inhuman act done here at Kpg Kerinchi. Our fight is not over, remember, this land is our heritage.” He also proposed the setting up of a fund to assist the welfare of the families and to challenge in court the forced eviction order.
Tan Jo Hann, the chairperson of the Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor (PERMAS) told the families that Kpg Kerinchi is the latest victim of an unfair law namely the Land Acquisition Act 1960 and that PERMAS will continue to support them in the legal suit against this eviction.
A drive around Bukit Kerinchi revealed that there are already many high end apartments on the hill and they are further up the hill. However, just adjacent to Kpg Kerinchi are two gigantic complexes which have been recently completed. Another high rise condominium is under construction and it is just next to Kpg Kerinchi. It is therefore only a matter of time before the business shoplots and apartments near Kpg Kerinchi be targets for acquisition and demolition to make way for even more new developments.