Developer demolishes PJS1 longhouses, evicts homeless residents

Barely a day after negotiating with the Selangor state government, developer Peter’s Brickworks Sdn Bhd today burst into PJS1 and demolished two longhouses that were occupied by three families.

The developer, equipped with two excavators, came into the longhouses at 2.30pm today with heavy police escort and ordered the residents to vacant their homes immediately.

Amid loud screaming, the excavators began to demolish the first house, which was occupied by a disabled family at 4pm , before tearing down the second house under a heavy downpour an hour later.

Residents were given time to move their belongings as workers smashed the windowpanes.

The demolition was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was deferred to today after MBPJ councillor Latheefa Koya sought the intervention of  the High Court through a stay order.

This interim period was meant to allow the Selangor government to negotiate with the developer on Thursday, and the MBPJ to issue a document that would sanction the residents’ demands.

Residents have no where to go

However, the residents had yet to received any letter by the time of the demolition earlier today.

“We were not given anything. We don’t even know where to go after this,” said Mahalingam Veeriah, the disabled resident.

Pusparani Balakrishnan said they only wanted Peter’s Brickworks to defer the demolition until next Monday so they could move out their belongings.

“But today they just intruded to our house with a group of gangsters and forcefully evicted us,” she alleged, adding that her family was intimidated.

State to seize back land

Hee (right) negotiating with a worker, whom he claimed was gangster hired by the developer to intimidate residents

Petaling Jaya Selatan MP, Hee Loy Sian, decried the developer’s action today as “too much” and warned state government would be pursuing the matter.

Arfa’eza A Aziz, the press secretary of the Selangor menteri besar, Khalid Ibrahim, later confirmed that the state would seize three plots of PJS1 land from Peter’s Brickworks after today’s incident.

“We will seize the 11 acres of land to ensure affordable housing and a school will be built on the land,” she said in a statement.

She said the Petaling District Land Office has been directed to issue 7A Notice under Section 128 of National Land Code to the landowners.

A brief history of a complicated dispute

The long-standing issue of PJS 1 began in 2000 when the families of Kampung Muniandi were promised low-cost flats by the developer, Peter’s Brickworks Sdn Bhd, who had wanted to acquire their land.

The residents were accommodated in longhouses, while the low-cost flats were being built.

The developer then completed all the blocks of low-cost flats, except for Block E, whose purchasers were left in a lurch due to a court injunction obtained by nearby bungalow residents, who objected to the high-rise building.

A condominium was built in the middle of the longhouse settlement, which divided the community into two.

The present Selangor government, who came into picture in 2008, then ordered Peter’s Brickworks to build Block E on another plot of land, away from the bungalows.

The Block E purchasers have since been asked to move out of their longhouses to Lembah Subang PPR (Projek Perumahan Rakyat) so that Block E can be built.

In a concurrent and complicating matter, the developer obtained a court order to demolish two of the longhouses which are located where it wants to build a condominium. The residents of these two longhouses were given until May 30 to vacate their homes.

The remaining longhouses are on school reserve land.