In 2009, Citizen Journalist Jimmy Leow responded to a plight by a group of squatters at Jalan Raja Uda, Prai, Penang who have been waiting for their flats promised by developers for 13 years.
Living in long houses provided by the developers which were eventually termite infested, they were promised an 800 sqf. flat after being issued a warning of RM100 a day charge for refusing to move from the squatted land.
In the developer’s master plan, they were initially supposed build two blocks of flats on repossessed land. They were supposed to re-home 72 families in one of the two blocks. However, this plan did not materialize.
Finally, after 16-years of waiting, the squatters received RM55,000 compensation. To date, 60% of the 72 families have been paid. 40% of which managed to find themselves low cost-houses in Makmandin, Butterworth some 3km from the initial squatter houses they lived in.
In a phone interview with Komunitikini, Goay Weng Leng who has been advising and pushing for the rights of the squatter residents said that “the families are relieved that they finally received some sort of compensation and wished to thank Malaysiakini and CJMY for the video made in 2009.
“This video was used many times in pursuit of justice,” said Goay, a Civil Engineer who used to live in the squatters years ago.
When asked why he decided to help them, he said ‘these are my friends and they have no where to live, I had to lend a hand.”