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Residents barking up the wrong tree, says developer
29/12/2009 The Star By LIM CHIA YING

OVER 50 people, comprising Batu MIC division members and squatters residents from Kampung Railway in Sentul, staged a protest yesterday over claims that low- and medium-cost flats are not being built as promised.

The protest was held at the YTL building in Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur where the group demanded for the promise based on an agreement in 1994 be fulfilled.

In a bind: Ramanathan (left) having a word with Tan (right) from YTL during the memorandum handing-over.
They held placards and marched for a short stretch along the street before crowding in front of the YTL building entrance waiting to hand over the memorandum to a management representative.

In the memorandum, it is claimed that Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd (under YTL) was to build 3,000 units of low- and medium-cost flats and two multi-purpose halls and a football field.

However, the group said not a single low-cost unit has been built 15 yearson.

Batu MIC division chairman C. Ramanathan, who is the group’s spokesperson, said the area was now developed with many high-end apartments.

“What we want is for the developer to honour its promise made 15 years back, that is to build the low and medium-cost units,” said Ramanathan.

“They have been asked to relocate to Puchong but it’s so far away. These are poor people earning like RM400 a month and many are uneducated folks who would not know what is happening once they move there.”

Resident Yogalingam Muthukrishnan, 41, said his father first made the home there 50 years back, and is unhappy now that he is asked to move to Puchong.

“I have children who are still schooling so it’s not convenient for me. Also, they have taken away our football field there,” he said.

YTL Land & Development Berhad customer relations manager Karen Tan later came out to receive the memorandum.

Police officers had gathered around to supervise and man the crowd.

According to a representative of YTL Land & Development Berhad, the only agreement made was with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) for the development of Kampung Railway.

The representative said the company had been wrongly vindicated in this matter as Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd in 1994 was under another parent company and that YTL only took over later in 1997.

“It has nothing to do with YTL as our joint venture agreement is only with KTMB, whereby Kampung Railway will comprise a series of medium-cost apartments to be constructed on Sentul Lot PT16 for the purpose of housing KTMB employees and their immediate families.

“The identified site for this project, unfortunately, has been occupied by squatters and their reluctance to move has delayed the commencement of construction for a considerable time,” said the representative, adding that this meant the memorandum handing-over was also directed to a wrong party.

In a press statement issued, it is said some 41 families have already moved out of their squatter homes; with 22 of the 41 relocated to PPR Kg Muhibbah Puchong while the other 19 found homes of their own.

As for this current group of 18 families, a court case was ongoing and no date has been fixed for the next mention.

“We have taken numerous measures to look into the welfare and interest of the affected families, like dialogues and briefings, extending moving-out deadline, assisting the families with new low-cost homes via liaising with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

“We will still offer relocation compensation and assist with the new accommodation, although it is in the hands of the DBKL to decide on the location,” said the representative.


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